International Solidarity Movement Gaza
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Palestinians across the Gaza strip and the West Bank will join today in mourning slain activist Vittorio Arrigoni. People will gather both in the Al Manara square in Ramallah and at Al Jundi al Majhull, the unknown soldier park, in Gaza City. Mourners will be received by the ISM, local popular committees, and BDS and civil society activists.
16.00, Al Jundi AL Majhoul – demonstration will move towards al Jundi al Majhoul, the unknown soldier park. A mourning tent will open at the fisherman’s port Al Mina al Sayadeen
16.00, Al Manara square – gathering to commemorate Vittorio
The crowd will then march to Al Bireh where mourners can pay their respect at an event held at the Al Bireh Municipality hall.
Further events will take place across the West Bank and the Gaza strip. Protest demonstrations have taken place following the Friday prayer across from the UN headquarters in Gaza. The villages of Bil’in and Al Masara have dedicated their weekly demonstrations to Vittorio today. Tomorrow in Nablus the Popular Committee called for a commemoration with political parties in the center of the city condemning Vittorio’s killing and celebrating his work.
Vittorio was active in the Palestine cause for almost 10 years. For the past two and a half years, he was in Gaza with the International Solidarity Movement, monitoring human rights violations by Israel, supporting the Palestinian popular resistance against the Israeli occupation and disseminating information about the situation in Gaza to his home country of Italy and around the world.
He was aboard the siege-breaking voyage in 2008 with the Free Gaza Movement. During Israel’s brutal assault on Gaza know as Operation Cast Lead Vittorio assisted medics and reported to the world what Israel was doing to the Palestinian people. He was arrested numerous times by Israeli forces for his participation in Palestinian non-violent resistance in the West Bank and Gaza. His last arrest and deportation from the area came as a result of the Israeli confiscation of Palestinian fishing vessels in Gazan territorial waters.
Vittorio frequently wrote on the issue of Palestine for the Italian newspaper, IL Manifesto and Peacereporter and was vocal in the issue of boycott, divestment and sanctions against Israel.
Khaleel Shaheen, of the Palestinian Center for Human Rights and a friend of Vittorio’s in Gaza says:
What has happened today is a black day in Palestinian history. The horrific murder of our friend Vittorio is totally condemned. We ask the local authorities to bring the criminals to justice as soon as possible. He is in our minds always. He is a hero of Palestine.
For more information please contact:
Huwaida Arraf – 00972 598 336 215
Joe Catrone (Gaza) – 00972 59 530 8666
Inge Neefs (Gaza) – 00972 597 738 436
Khaleel Shaheen (Gaza) – 00972 599 691 134
Nathan Stuckey (Gaza) – 00972 597 650 864
Silvia Todescini – Italian (Gaza) – 00972 595 447 660