Gaza murder 'result of Hamas repression'

2011-04-15 14:05

Gaza City - A radical Islamist group said on Friday that the murder of an Italian pro-Palestinian activist in Gaza was the result of Hamas's "repression" of Salafists.

In a statement, Gaza-based Tawhid wal Jihad said they played no role in the kidnapping of 36-year-old Vittorio Arrigoni, who according to Hamas was found hanged in a house in northern Gaza shortly after his kidnap.

"While we, Tawhid wal Jihad, had no role in this kidnapping, we affirm that what happened is the natural result of the repressive policy of Hamas and its government against the Salafists," a statement by the group said.

A video released by Arrigoni's kidnappers hours before his death demanded that Hamas release Salafist prisoners including Tawhid wal Jihad leader Hisham al-Suedani, who was arrested in March.

"We and others have for a long time warned the Hamas government against the risks of acting so close to injustice against the Salafist trend at the request of the international community. Hamas was so arrogant they refused to even listen," the group said.

They urged Hamas "to listen to the voice of reason" and called for the release of Salafist prisoners including Suedani "before it is too late".

Killed before deadline

Arrigoni's kidnappers identified themselves as belonging to a previously unknown Salafist group called The Brigade of the Gallant Companion of the Prophet Mohammed bin Muslima.

In a video that purportedly showed Arrigoni, his face bruised and bloodied, his eyes covered in black duct tape and his hands bound behind his back, they warned he would be killed if their prisoner release demands were not met.

"If you don't respond quickly to our demands, within 30 hours from 11:00 on April 14, we will execute this prisoner," they said.

It was unclear why they killed their hostage before the expiry of the deadline.

There are five major Salafist groups in Gaza, including Tawhid wal Jihad, who espouse a particularly austere form of Sunni Islam.

Their religious observances and refusal to abide by various ceasefires have set them on a path of confrontation with Hamas.

In 2007, the Salafist Army of Islam claimed responsibility for the kidnapping of BBC reporter Alan Johnston. Hamas severed ties with the group and freed Johnston after four months in captivity.

  • louis - 2011-04-15 16:23

    what about an article about what happened before we hear al-qaeda's propaganda.

  • Zanu - 2011-04-15 18:20

    A murderer blames a Murderer for a Murder.

  • T de J - 2011-04-15 19:10

    these people can blame whom they want but CHRISTIANTY WILL WIN HAVE NO DOUGHT . It's hard to be a christian now because of all the rotten eggs in the coope and all the bad things that the preachers are doing but look at how manny times the christians have been prececuted through out history and today we are still the biggest religion . we might seem weak for not taking up arms against these anti-christs but we don't have to they are killing each other and our lord " JESUS Christ " doesn't need our savagery he wants our goodness to each other . He has the power to do what ever he sees fit. Don't fall for all this propaganda and false Profits that are coming out of the woodwork. stand firm for the truth ,fight against this scurge that is going through the servants of Jesus expose them and the church must do more than twitch their thumbs about it before humanity collapse . Servants of Jesus you chose your path in life. So if it doesn't suit you leave and carry on life in a ordinary way . Remember Children belong to God we as parents are only give a chance to guide them and warn them about the short coming of some of God's people ,not to abuse the in any way . humanity is going to suffer because of the suffering that the are giving to the children of this world .

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