The Hamas government in the Gaza Strip is hunting two suspects following the execution on Friday of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian activist who was a member of the International Solidarity Movement.

One of the suspects is believed to be a Jordanian national.

Arrigoni was kidnapped on Thursday by an extremist Gaza group called Tawhid wal-Jihad, which demanded the release of several of its senior members, whom Hamas had detained in February. The activist's abductors released a video showing a bruised and blindfolded Arrigoni and said he would be executed within 30 hours if their demands were not met. However, the captors apparently killed Arrigoni soon after the video's release.

Hamas denied rumors Arrigoni was killed during a botched rescue attempt and condemned the murder, saying it was premeditated, and that the captors had no intention of exchanging the Italian for prisoners in the first place.

"The murder does not reflect the values, morals, religion and customs of the people of Gaza," said a statement from the Hamas Interior Ministry.