The mother of Vittorio Arrigoni, the Italian peace activist who was murdered in Gaza last week, has vowed to visit the Gaza Strip. "I want to see where my son lived and died," she told Ynet in her first interview with Israeli media.
Egidia Beretta, mayor of the northern Italian city of Bulciago, noted that far right-wing activists from the US threatened her son's life two years ago over a tattoo on his hand which illustrated his love for the Palestinian people.
"Vittorio spoke a lot about Gaza and now he's gone. I plan to visit the Gaza Strip in the future. I want to see where my son lived and died, to see what he spoke of and for what cause he sacrificed his life."
Nevertheless, Beretta said she is not planning to join the international flotilla scheduled to leave for Gaza next month, due to her husband's health condition.
One of Arrigoni's friends, Maria Elena Delia, told Ynet that Beretta was very proud of her son's work. "It was hard for her that he was always away, but she was strong and proud. She wants to follow in his footsteps and told me immediately after the murder 'I want to be on that ship'."
Delia added that she herself had plans to board the Gaza-bound vessel in March and was spurred on by Arrigoni's death. "Vittorio was meant to return to Italy and join us on the ship. Now that Vittorio's spirit is with us, the flotilla will be that much more powerful."
Meanwhile, Egypt has agreed to allow Arrigoni's body to be transferred into its territory via the Rafah crossing and flown to Italy from there.
Hamas Foreign Minister Muhammad Awad declared that Gaza security forces have closed all overland and naval crossings in order to prevent Arrigoni's murderers from escaping.
He added that Gaza authorities were interrogating the two suspects and that Hamas plans to name a street after the Italian activist.
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