Body of activist found in Gaza
The body of an Italian pro-Palestinian activist abducted a few hours earlier by Islamic extremists has been found hanged in a Gaza City house, the Hamas government has said.
The officials said Hamas police stormed an apartment in Gaza City belonging to a member of the extremist group that released a video of the activist.
Hamas police said they found the man dead after he was hanged.
The International Solidarity Movement had identified the kidnapped activist as Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, a member from Italy. An Italian doctor was on his way from Israel to examine the body, a Hamas official said.
Gaza police were surrounding the small house where the clash took place. A police officer said the body was inside. Police said two people were arrested in another location in connection with the abduction, and a third was being sought.
In a statement, the Hamas Interior Ministry said the man was killed shortly after he was abducted at midday on Thursday.
Ministry spokesman Ehab al-Ghussein said he was killed "in an awful way". He said the kidnappers planned from the beginning to kill him, not to trade him for captives.
The Interior Ministry spokesman said a member of the militant group led them to the house. He did not name the group.
A ministry statement denounced the killing as "a crime that does not reflect the values, morals. religion and customs" of the people of Gaza.
It was the first kidnapping of a foreigner since Hamas overran the Gaza Strip in 2007.