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Vittorio Arrigoni Humanist, Peace Activist and Lover of Humanity


Posted on August 7, 2011 by Marivel Guzman in collaboration with Omar Karem

Vittorio Arrigoni Humanist, peace and social activist, political writer and lover of humanity. Vik as he was known in Gaza, was not given the chance to continue his work in Gaza. t
Some will think that life is fair and that we die paying our sins. here is a popular saying: “who lives by the sword dies by the sword,” when you know bad people you will understand and even proclaim your disgust for that person, but for the people of Gaza that knew Vittorio could not possibly believe that, the ones that lived the struggles in Gaza with him, -because Vittorio was another Gazanwi under the Bombs- how will they explain his violent death? even if they are religious and think that Allah is fair and rightful in all his decisions, how will they understand that Allah choose a cruel death for this men they knew to be lovely, funny, giver, caring and unselfish., for the ones that knew his humanitarian work thru his writings and the videos, and to all member of International Solidarity Movement; how they see his death?.

There were so many rumors of the reason of his death, some outrageous claims were circulating in the internet about his kidnapping, and lets not repeat those slanderous claims because there were senseless, cruel and clueless.

For my part I m inclined to believe that he was used, I go further to claim that because he was so loved and respected in Gaza he was chosen to be the lamb for sacrifice. Who ever did this horrible crime, they never thought that anyone was going to be killed, they thought that Vik being so loved and appreciated in Gaza was going to be swept in exchange for the political prisoner in Hamas jails.  Even sound childish that the government was going to make the exchange without questions.

I wonder what went wrong in the last hours, why the negotiations did not succeed? why Vittorio life was not secured before any armed man came to the scene of the holding?.

Gaza is a place where kidnappings have happened before, they always negotiated, is not like they have a policy of No to Negotiate with “terrorists” as the US has, at least in public. There were many reports that Vittorio was death hours before the incident took place, that is the official, the forensic finding. I was not there and I did not see Vik leaving in stretchers from the place of the crime, but I only can see that there are many things that went wrong that day. In my opinion I sense a kind of cover up.

Vik  had very good relations with the local government. I have been told by few people that live in Gaza and by others that have been in Gaza either in the convoys or as a reporters that the local authorities take good care of the foreigners that live in Gaza, meaning that they are, or protected, or continuously followed for various reasons. Hamas would not want to have bad propaganda. In the past before Hamas came to power, it was very often the kidnapping but since they assumed the power there was not other cases inside Gaza.

It is terrible to feel unable to find the truth to his dead, I m a very skeptical mind, and the official version of the facts will always be adorned and twisted for public relations benefit. I will refuse to accept that he was murdered in cold blood just because the demands were not meet..

I could be all wrong of all my judgements, my ideas, my thinking but I can not help it but doubt the official history, that’s not make sense at all.

The following is an article that was published on April 23, 2011 by IMEMC (International Meddle East Media Center)

Video Shows Family Members Of Arrigoni Kidnappers Urging His Release

author Saturday April 23, 2011 13:47author by Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies Report post

“All of the Muslims in the world are wrong, and you three are the only ones who are right?!!” pleads the father of Mahmoud Salfity, one of the kidnappers, in a video published on a the website of the Palestinian Interior Ministry on Wednesday.

The Father Of Mahmoud Salfity

The Father Of Mahmoud Salfity

Two Parts Video

The video shows one family member after another begging the kidnappers of an Italian activist to let him go. Vittorio Arrigoni was killed by his kidnappers just hours after being abducted last week in Gaza. (According to the Official Story)

On Wednesday April 20th, (Five Days After the Murder)the Ministry of Interior and National Security in Gaza, released new details on pleads made by the families of the kidnappers to release Arrigoni.

The kidnappers were barracking themselves in the second floor of a home in Al Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza.

The video first shows Hisham Al Sadeeni, detained by Hamas, trying to talk to one of the kidnappers, identified as Abu Amer, urging him to release Arrigoni, and telling him that he would be released by Hamas forces, and that the only thing that delays the release and resolving the issue of the other gunmen depends on the release of Arrigoni. (Where is the Whole video, you can see there are already gun shots holes in the wall, in the two part of the video, un less they are old gun shots)

The second scene of the video shows the father of Mahmoud Al Salfity, one of the kidnappers, trying to speak to his son and bring some since to him, while the voice of another gunman was heard in the background as he was refusing the plead.

“It is my right to speak to my son”, the father said, “I will stay here, I will sleep here if necessary, I urge you, I beg you let me speak to my son”, the father was telling one of the gunmen, “Do you consider yourself right and millions of Muslims in the world wrong?! You three do not represent the Muslims, what you are doing is wrong, the Salafists, the Islamic Jihad and everybody do not approve of what you are doing, everybody… your brothers are begging you to come down, they don’t want you to die, you should be more reasonable than that, please have some sense, please ‘brother’, for your own sake just come down son, I raised you, I took care of you, and you are doing this impiety?!”

The father was also telling his son that Islam is a moderate religion, a humanitarian belief, and does not accept what is happening.

On the third scene the mother of Bilal Al Omary, one of the kidnappers, was urging the release of Arrigoni and assuring him that the Hamas security forces vowed not to harm him.

In the fourth scene, the uncle of Bilal was also urging him to release Arrigoni and telling him that nobody will abandon him and his friends, and will stand by them.

“Do you hear me? Come down my dear Bilal, please come down”, the uncle said, “have some mercy on your father, on your mother, just come down”.

The fifth scene shows the brother of Bilal telling him that Abdul-Rahman, one of the captures of Arrigoni will be allowed back to his country. And that he will be allowed to go wherever he wants without being harmed.

The mother was desperately pleading the release of Arrigoni, and a peaceful ending to the whole ordeal.

The pleads of ended with gunshots fired by the abductors from the second floor at their own family members downstairs.

While the attempts to release Vittorio inside the building occur there is activity of what if seems to be Palestinian Commandos, getting into the roof of the building in Al Nusseirat refugee camp in central Gaza, where reports in the official Palestinians News were already circulating since early, at 2 PM PST the tweets mention of negotiations already going on to secure the release of Vittorio, while the commotion is recorded inside the building Aljazeera Arabic Channel is recording the action outside the building.

The arrest of one accused of killing the Italian solidarity in Gaza (English Subtitles of the Video)

القبض على أحد المتهمين بقتل المتضامن الايطالي بغزة

This is the Official Version of the Events

The government in Gaza made every effort to reveal the details of Vittorio Arrigoni‘s murder and catch those responsible, spokesman of the Ministry of Interior Ehab Al-Ghusein said Wednesday.

Two suspects in the murder of the Italian activist died and another sustained injuries Tuesday when Hamas security forces raided a building in Gaza City after a short standoff outside.

On Wednesday, Al-Ghusein briefed reporters on the specifics of the operation.

At a news conference in Gaza City, he displayed images in which the mother of Bilal Al-Umari, one of the suspects, tries to convince him to surrender saying she had received assurances about his treatment.

Authorities also brought Hisham Al-Saidni, the leader whose release the suspects had allegedly demanded, and he urged them to give themselves up, Al-Ghusein explained.

His ministry has released dramatic footage showing the events leading up to the raid. Relatives of the suspects are seen pleading with them to surrender to police. Eventually, a gunshot is heard.

Let this be a lesson for those seeking to disturb the security of Gaza,” Al-Ghusein said.

“Those behind this crime have failed to disrupt life for Palestinians by creating a state of terror against the International Solidarity Movement,” he added.

Al-Ghusein gave reporters a timeline of events since the kidnapping:

— Forces arrested two Palestinians within “moments” of the kidnapping on Thursday, Al-Ghusein said. They admitted their role in the abduction and actions with the rest of the group.

— After the murder, investigations revealed the location of the three fugitives. Security forces surrounded the home and repeatedly asked the suspects to surrender in accordance with the law, he said.

— When the suspects opened fire, a member of the security was moderately injured.

— After six hours of trying to convince the suspects to surrender, security forces attempted to take control of the house. Two men went to the roof of the building where the men had barricaded themselves.

— When Abdul-Rahman Al-Breizat noticed them, he threw a grenade at the forces which moderately injured one of the security forces outside.

— Al-Breizat then threw a grenade on the second floor, critically injuring Bilal Al-Umari and lightly hurting Mahmoud Muhammad Nimir Salfiti.

— Al-Breizat then shot himself in the head, Al-Ghusein said.

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights, meanwhile, has called for an investigation into the deaths of the two wanted persons killed during the clash with security services.

The PCHR urged the attorney general to investigate the deaths and publish the findings.

The rights group also reiterated its condemnation of the “hideous crime” against Arrigoni and stressed the importance of finalizing the investigation into the abduction and murder.

The next article was published by the Italian Magazine IL Manifesto on July 09, 2011 by Michele Giorgio, with updated for Yesterday Court appended to the original article.

Vik Arrigoni, today the process

Vittorio Arrigoni was strangled between the night of April 14 and the early hours of April 15. He was still alive in the video shot by his captors that was placed on youtube. His face was swollen and bleeding shown in the face of the Italian journalist and activist, the images filmed shown in the video was the result of hard blows he had received, in particular one struck in the head with the butt of a gun from Bilal al Omari, his occasional companion at the local gym, with the grip of his pistol in the early stages of the kidnapping as probably Vittorio tried to break free and escape.

Reference to these and many other details, were disclosure to Mohamed Najar lawyer of Jram Khader in Gaza City early today in the opening of the trial of four Palestinians accused of kidnapping and murder of Vittorio. Jram Khader 26 year old from the Shati refugee camp, worked as a firemen, who confessed that he had himself indicated as Victor stranger to capture the group (allegedly) Salafist that last April, under the command of Jordanian Abdel Rahman Breizat, has claimed the kidnapping of Vik. Najar, showing photocopies of official documents received from the military prosecutor’s office, he read the relevant passages of the confessions made by defendants during interrogation.

And ‘the truth of the defendants – Mohammed Salfi, 23 years of Karama; Hasasnah Tarek, 25 years of Shat, Amer Abu Ghoul, 25 years of Shat and Jram Khadr – who perhaps do not fully correspond to what happened. In addition, two other members of the group of kidnappers, the Jordanian and Palestinian Breizat Omari, considered the “leaders” of the Salafist cell, can not tell their version. They were killed a couple of days after the discovery of the body of Vik made during the Blitz in their retreat from one unit Nusseirat choice of Hamas. However, it is the first time, five months after the murder of Victor, which is made known, even if only partially, the files of investigations conducted by the military prosecutor’s office of Hamas (all four defendants are members with various tasks forces safety) and never delivered to the lawyers of the family Arrigoni. Two days ago it finally arrived in Gaza from Italy the prosecution (based on criteria set by the Islamic movement) in favor of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, which represents the relatives of Vik at the hearing tomorrow. It is hoped that Hamas can not find more excuses for not recognizing it.

Because Victor was killed in Gaza who had spent the last years of his life and where he enjoyed the esteem of so many Palestinians? Najar’s lawyer has a long answer to this question that raise many months. “From the confessions and statements of my client and the other defendants is clear that the intent of the group, informally not a real organization, was to seize a Westerner to obtain the release of Sheikh Abdel-Walid al-Maqdisi, arrested by Hamas for subversive activities, “said Najar. “Breizat had returned to Gaza (the first time he entered a year and a half earlier and had returned, with false documents, between February and March 2011, ed) for the express purpose of finding a way to release the sheik that Maqdisi was his teacher in Jordan, “added the lawyer arguing that” through the kidnapping of the young people wanted to affirm the existence of their armed cells (ideologically linked to Tawhid wal Jihad, ed) and had no intention of killing the Italian ” . True, false? Najar raises his shoulders. “This is what I read in the acts.” Vittorio Arrigoni Why? “My client (Jram) that lavorara fire station in front of a building frequented by Victor told me he had insisted on that name because it was known in Gaza and, according to him, the Italian led a life ill-adapted to local customs, too Western. ” In essence, the attorney said, “The end of the kidnapping was to leave before anything else Maqdisi and immediately after giving a lecture to Italian: crush, scare and then release him.”

But things went differently and Vik was brutally killed. “The police of Hamas (the evening of April 14, note) has reconstructed the dynamics within hours of the abduction and arrested immediately Khader Jram which followed the movements of Arrigoni, had spoken to him on the evening of the kidnapping and had reported his movements to accomplices. To avoid capture so Breizat killed the Italian and two accomplices tried to lose the tracks, along with two others (at Omari and Salfi, ed), but were quickly identified. ” The figure of Jordan, described as cold and calculating from other members of the group, remains a mystery even in an investigation conducted by Hamas. Scrolling acts, the lawyer said that the military prosecutor’s office Najar has not been able to establish links between Breizat and “external forces” involved eliminating Vittorio Arrigoni, but investigators do not exclude them.

The impression we gained yesterday that during his trial lawyer and legal Najar set against the other defendants Breizat and Omari, who can no longer speak, the major responsibility. Salfi, for example, said under questioning that when Victor was killed, “he was the toilet” and did not see anything. Hasasnah gave a similar version. Jram but claims to have played a secondary role, not operational, the management of the seizure and the Ghoul says he only rented the apartment used by kidnappers to hide Vittorio and had never heard of the intentions of the armed group. So we will see an intensive “buck.” Jrar meanwhile said “very sorry” for insisting on the kidnapping of Vik and hopefully in a few years sentence in prison.

It is for the military judge clarity Abu Omar Atallah putting an end to the reluctance of the Hamas authorities that five months have not issued any statement on the assassination of Victor. Even the trial date has not been announced.

The world needs to know the sad truth of Vittorio Arrigoni undeserved death, Palestinians need to know why Vittorio was not guarantee before Hamas used any commands to try to rescue him. The truth soon or later will need to surface, even if is painful to know.

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