The mother of Vittorio Arrigoni, an Italian peace campaigner murdered by Islamist extremists in the Gaza Strip, has told how her son used to encourage everyone to ‘remain human’ even under difficult circumstances.
The 36-year-old had lived there since arriving on an aid boat that crossed the Israeli blockade in 2008.
His mother spoke of the family’s shock and grief that he had been killed just hours after being kidnapped by a Jihadist Salafi group.
Egidia Beretta said: “Vittorio would always use the slogan ‘Let’s remain human.’ He would say it even in the most difficult situations. When I used to ask him: ‘How can you and how can we remain human?’ he would reply ‘Because in spite of everything, humanity must always be inside us and we have to bring it to others’.”
The group had demanded the release of their leader, arrested by Hamas who run the Gaza Strip.
In Rome, Italians expressed their shock and concern.
Resident Giorgio Marchi said: “I’m even more sorry because he was a volunteer who was certainly not there to fight wars but trying to find a new solution there. Unfortunately I think he was not the first and he will not be the last to meet this fate.”
Hamas condemned the killing as an ‘ugly crime’ and promised to hunt down the murderers. Two men have already been arrested.