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Salafi-extremists harm peaceful Islam
Sat, 30 Apr 2011 17:18:49 GMT
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Vittorio Arrigoni
Italian pro-Palestinian activist, Vittorio Arrigoni, and Israeli Actor Juliano Mer-Khamis have been killed in the Gaza Strip by potential Salafi- extremists.

Press TV interviewed Ken O'Keefe Gaza Activist regarding the death of Vittorio Arrigoni and the Palestinians reaction to the incident.

Press TV: Can you describe the feeling in Gaza on the news of Vittorio's murder? We can call him Vic.

O'Keefe: The amount of apologizes from the Palestinian people is just continuous. Everybody of sound mind agreed that it was a tragedy on all levels. The people here are not in any way related to what happened to Vic. This obviously had nothing to do with Palestine or Islam. That is for sure.

Press TV: Can we talk a little bit about Victor's work? What was he actually doing in the Gaza strip?

O'Keefe: Vic was working with the ISM, and he went out on the boats with the fishermen many times. In fact he was kidnapped by the Israelis once and taken to jail and roughed up a bit.

As you know he was on the first Free Gaza Mission that arrived in August of 2008. I was with Vic, a couple months back when we went to the so called buffer zone and the Israelis fired. He was always doing what he could to help and he spoke the truth and shielded the people in the best way he could.

Press TV: There's been a press conference given by the HAMAS leaders in Gaza, saying that this terrible crime in no way reflects the visitors of the Gaza strip. Do you have anything to say about that? You're there. What is the feeling?

O'Keefe: Well, I have been here nearly five months this time around. I've walked the streets freely, and if there is anything that can be said about the situation it's really quite remarkable. I was born in America. The people here are not ignorant to the fact that America is funding their occupation and supporting Israel hand and foot.

In addition, a guy like me can walk in the streets, and it's really much safer than it would be in many major cities in America. It's really quite incredible considering the amount of injustice people experience here.

What has happened with the killing of Vic is just not indicative at all what the reality of people is here.
They are such hospitable and generous people, and do everything they can to take care of you.

Press TV: Finally, what sort of gatherings and what sort of message from the Gaza people is hoped to come from Vic's time with them.

O'Keefe: Well they all express their deepest love and sympathy for the family, and all the people who support the Palestinian cause.

They want people to know that this is not Palestine. What has happened is an aberration and it has nothing to do with the people of Palestine or their struggle. They have a deep love and respect for all of us that support them, and this cannot be characterized as a Palestinian action.

This has acted in great favor to the Israelis whether they knew it or not. We have to consider how the Israelis are a suspect in what happened to Vic.

NM/PKH
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