On Behalf of President Mahmoud Abbas, Christian and Muslim Palestinian officials arrived in Italy on Wednesday to offer their condolences to the family of Italian peace activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, who was kidnapped and killed by extremist gunmen last week. Mahmoud Al Habbash, head of the Waqf and Religious Affairs, Sheikh Khamis Abda, and Father Ibrahim Musleh, official spokesperson of the Greek Orthodox faith met with the family of Arrigoni to comfort them for the loss of their son.

Al Habbash said that this crime was caused by ignorance, extremism and insecurity in the Gaza Strip directly impacted by internal divisions and rifts, especially between the rival Fateh and Hamas movements.

He added that the Palestinian authority will locate any person involved in his crime and other crimes against international peace activist and local residents,

The official further stated that those who commit heinous crime will be prosecuted and will be punished as they are acting against the Palestinians, their international supporters and their cause.

Arrigoni first arrived in Gaza on board the first solidarity convoy that made it into the coastal region on August 23, 2008.

He played a vital role in rescuing and aiding local civilians in Gaza during the illegal Israeli three-week war that started late December 2008.

Arrigoni also wrote reports about the Israeli violations in Gaza, and wrote feature stories expressing the Palestinian suffering under ongoing Israeli siege on oppression.