World Bulletin / News Desk
A Gaza military court convicted four Palestinians on Monday for kidnapping and murdering an Italian man in 2011.
Vittorio Arrigoni, a pro-Palestinian activist, was abducted by a Salafi faction.
The group had hoped to force Hamas to release a Salafist leader, Hisham al-Saidni. Hamas police said the kidnappers killed Arrigoni before a deadline they had set for Saidni's release had expired.
Saidni was recently freed without charge after pledging not to disturb public order, Hamas said.
There was no immediate reaction from Salafi groups that have accused Hamas security forces of arresting nearly 40 of their men, some for firing rockets against Israel.
Three of the defendants were identified by the court as security men who had been working for the Salafi group for ideological reasons. Two received life sentences and one was jailed for 10 years.
The fourth man, a fisherman, fled Gaza after the killing and was sentenced in absentia to 12 months. Two other men were killed in a gun battle with Hamas forces trying to rescue Arrigoni.
Lawyers said Arrigoni's family had written to the court to oppose imposing the death penalty.
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