Hamas Kills 2 Suspects During Manhunt for Murderers of Italian Activist in Gaza

Sources relay that Hamas security men surrounded a home where the suspects were staying,in the Nusseirat refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip.

Hamas security forces yesterday killed two of the three Palestinians suspected of involvement in the murder of Italian peace activist Vittorio Arrigoni last weekend, sources in Gaza report. The third suspect in the murder was wounded, and detained.

The sources relay that Hamas security men surrounded a home where the suspects were staying,in the Nusseirat refugee camp, in the center of the Gaza Strip. The Hamas men called on the suspects to turn themselves in. A gun battle ensued. The Hamas police brought relatives of the suspects to the area, hoping that they would persuade the suspects to surrender. When this effort failed, Hamas security men entered the home, and killed Balal al-Omari and Hirdani Abbad a-Rahman al-Brizat. The third suspect, Muhammad a-Salpiti, was wounded and detained. Three Hamas security men were hurt in the gunfight.

Vittorio Arrigoni
Nuns holding a poster depicting Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni whose body was found hanged in a Gaza apartment, April 15, 2011. AP

Arrigoni, a member of the International Solidarity Movement, was found dead last Friday in Gaza. Members of an Islamic militant group, the Monotheism and Holy War organization, claimed responsibility for Arrigoni's hanging. News of Arrigoni's abduction had become public a day earlier, due to the distribution of a video clip on YouTube. The clip showed the hostage being pulled by the hair, and markings of beatings could be seen on him; Islamic prayers can be heard in the background.