Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hamas surrounds the murderers of Arrigoni

Forces of the Palestinian government of Hamas in Gaza on Tuesday stormed the refuge of the alleged murderers of the Italian Vittorio Arrigoni, an operation that ended with the death of Islamist chief of staff, the Jordanian Abdelrahman Brizak, and another activist, Palestinian Bilal Al Omari . "Brizak threw a grenade at his comrades and himself," the Interior Ministry after starting the assault on the house in the area of Nusseirat in which the alleged murderers had fled activist.

In a statement, the Ministry reported that "the operation has ended after four hours" with the assault of the forces that had surrounded the building and after a prolonged firefight. Other activists of the Salafist group Al Tawhid Al Jihad who was with Brizak was injured as a result of the explosion of the grenade.

A fourth activist who was not identified but who owned the house was arrested before the police intervention. Hamas forces had managed to trace the whereabouts of the four suspects in the early afternoon, hours after publishing their photographs and names on the Internet and hang posters wanted for the entire strip.

The other two activists are Mohamed Brizak, brother of the chief command, and Muhammad Nimer Salfiti. Al Tawhid Al Jihad, a group linked to Al Qaeda terrorist network, claimed responsibility on Thursday for the kidnapping of Italian activist of 36 years in a video posted on YouTube. Hours later, before completing the 30-hour ultimatum which had given the Hamas government for the release of three of his militants, kidnappers killed Arrigoni.

At first it was reported that the house in which they took refuge belonged to a member of the armed wing of Hamas, the Al Qassam Brigades Azedin, who had been arrested. Italian activist, who had arrived in Gaza in 2008 on a ship that broke the Israeli blockade of the Gaza Strip, was the subject yesterday of a "national homage" in the Shifa hospital in which hundreds of Palestinians, diplomats, consular Italian family friends and activists from the International Solidarity Movement (MIS) and other pro-Palestinian NGO.

After the tribute Hamas officials moved the body to the Rafah crossing on the border with Egypt, for their repatriation to Italy.

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