Kidnapping of Italian Activist in Gaza Challenges Hamas' Authority

Italian activist Vittorio Arrigoni, 36, was kidnapped and killed by the Palestinian extremist group inspired by al-Qaeda, "Jihadist Salafi".

Arrigoni said his happiest moment was coming to Gaza. He said his Grandfather fought Nazi occupation and he felt it was in his DNA to fight for Gazans. Arrigoni was a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM).

The group that kidnapped him demanded that Hamas release their leader who was arrested more than a month ago. The group issued a video Thursday showing Arrigoni bleeding and badly beaten. Hamas security officials were led to the body late Thursday night. The group had initially given Hamas a 5pm Friday deadline.

Hamas responded to the initial reports of the kidnapping by arresting members of the salafist group.

The kidnapping challenges Hamas' authority in the Gaza Strip. Some question whether their power may be waning in Gaza especially with its difficulty in controlling smaller militant organizations from firing rockets into Israel.

On Friday at least two rockets were launched from Gaza into Israel.