Palestinians mourn slain Italian activist in Gaza

10:48, April 19, 2011      

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Members of Hamas security forces carry the coffin of Italian pro-Palestinian activist Victorio Arrigoni during an honoring funeral at Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip, April 18, 2011. Arrigoni, 36, who was abducted and killed early Friday by extremists, will be transported via Egypt to bury in Italy. (Xinhua/Ashraf Mohammed)

Hundreds of Palestinians on Monday paid the final farewell to an Italian peace activist killed in the Gaza Strip Friday.

International pro-Palestinian activists also participated in the ceremony at Gaza's Al-Shifa hospital. After that, Hamas authorities of Gaza moved the coffin to Rafah border crossing, where it would be moved to Italy through Egypt.

Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was found dead in a house at dawn Friday, hours after members of an Al-Qaeda-inspired group said in a video that it had abducted him. Al-Tawheed and Al-Jihad wanted Gaza's Hamas rulers to release a leader of the group who was arrested in March.

Envoys from the Italian consulate and relatives of Arrigoni attended the funeral.

The people who gathered near the morgue presented flowers at the coffin wrapped in Palestinian and Italian flags.

"Terrorism has no religion!" "Gaza, Victor is your son!" the mourners chanted during the funeral to condemning the killing and terrorism. For many Gazans, Vittorio, who arrived in 2008 through the sea, challenging Israeli blockade on Gaza, was known to them as Victor.

Claudia Milani, Vittorio's friend who arrived in Gaza yesterday to take his body home, demanded Hamas arrest and punish those who killed the activist.

On Sunday, Hamas authorities said they have not yet arrested the actual perpetrators who kidnapped and killed Arrigoni.

The two suspects who were arrested "were indirectly involved in the crime," said Mohammed Awad, Hamas Foreign Affairs Minister, adding that the murderers are still being chased down.

Source: Xinhua

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