Gazan Assassin of Italian Activist Killed While Fighting in Iraq

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In this Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2008 photo, Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni carries an aid box from the 'Free Gaza' boat in Gaza city.Credit: AP

Mahmoud al-Salfiti, a Gazan who was convicted of participating in the assassination of an Italian activist in the Gaza Strip in 2011, has been killed in Iraq while fighting for the Islamic State (ISIS,) the Italian website Leggo reported.

Al-Salfiti, who was serving a 15-year sentence in a Hamas prison for killing Vittorio Arrigoni, disappeared after being granted home leave for Ramadan in June. According to the Gazan media, he managed to leave the Strip and make his way to Iraq, where he was killed in action recently.

A message reported on a number of jihadist websites said: "Mahmoud al-Salfiti, who participated in the death of the infidel Italian Arrigoni and then was imprisoned by Hamas and escaped five months ago and arrived in the Islamic state has died as a martyr in the struggle for Anbar."

Anbar, a province of Iraq, is currently the scene of heavy fighting between ISIS and the Iraqi army.

Arrigoni, 36, a journalist and member of the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement, was found hanged in an abandoned house north of Gaza City in April 2011

Prior to his death, a Salafist group posted a video of him online and threatened to kill him unless Hamas released an unspecified number of their members.

Al-Salfiti was one of four extremists convicted by a Hamas court for the murder. He received a sentence of life imprisonment, which was later reduced to 15 years.

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