On Friday, the Prime Minister of the dissolved Government in the Gaza Strip, Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyya, phoned the mother of slain Italian activist and Palestine Solidarity Movement member, Vittorio Arrigoni. He expressed his sincere condolences and the condolences of the Palestinian people, and vowed to apprehend and prosecute the murderers.Haniyya stated that the first moments after Arrigoni’s abduction, the government started investigating the issue and demanded that the kidnappers should ensure his safe and swift release. He added that the kidnappers killed Vittorio even before the deadline they set had ended, which indicates that it was their intention to commit murderrather than to negotiate.

During his phone conversation with Vittorio’s mother, Haniyya said that the government is doing all it can to apprehend the murderers and try them as soon as possible.

The phone call was conducted during an urgent government meeting to discuss the murder of Vittorio. Haniyya affirmed that Gaza is safe for everybody, residents and guests.

Following the government session, Haniyya read a statement in which he said that the crime was committed while Gaza was facing the possibility of further Israel aggression, but that the Palestinians were enjoying internal security.

“This crime is meant to harm the Palestinian people and their struggle”, Haniyya said, “This crime has nothing to do with the Palestinian people, their morals, and their religion”.

He also stated that the Palestinian people have always welcomed guests and supporters, hosted them in their homes and treated them like members of their own families.

Haniyya affirmed that the government and the security forces are conducting thorough investigations in an attempt to apprehend the killers.

The security forces managed to apprehend suspects believed to be involved in the issue hours after the crime took place, but that further investigations are ongoing in order to ensure that all related assailants are apprehended.

The Gaza Prime Minister called on all media agencies to be accurate and fair in their coverage of the events and not to jump into unbalanced, nonfactual conclusions.

Haniyya vowed that Gaza will have a street named after Vittorio to honor his memory, his love of Palestine, the Palestinian people and his support for their legitimate struggle for liberation and independence.

He said that the government in Gaza reaffirms its supports and protection to all international campaigns against the illegal Israeli siege, all solidarity activists and visitors.

The government will hold an official funeral ceremony for the slain human rights activist, while an official delegation along with a civil society delegation will be heading to Rome to provide their condolences to the family and friends of Vittorio.