Angelo's story

Angelo Frammartino, 24, spent the summer volunteering at the Burj-Laq Laq summer camp for boys in the Muslim quarter of the Old City. He grew up in Italy in the town of Monterotondo, where he was a member of the PRC, the Communist Refoundation Party. His position with the party was Secretary for Communist Youth of the Monterotondo municipality, a capacity in which he brought together some 800 like-minded young people of the area. Angelo spent much of his time writing poetry and was interested in social and political issues. "We must face the fact that a situation of no violence is a luxury in many parts of the world," Angelo once wrote in an article to a newspaper. "But we do not seek to avoid legitimate acts of defense… I never dreamed of condemning resistance, the blood of the Vietnamese, the blood of the people who were under colonialist occupation, or the blood of the young Palestinians from the first intifada." A law student at the University of Rome, Angelo spent a year preparing for his trip to Jerusalem. Through CGIL, an Italian trade union that supports development projects, and with a grant from the Monterotondo municipality, Angelo arrived in Israel and began working with Palestinian boys at the Burj-Laq Laq community center. According to Bashar Azzeh, the center's representative for Angelo's group, Angelo spent much of his time playing basketball and other sports with the children. He also taught them how to recycle and make the necessary bins to do so. The volunteers gathered for dinner every night, and Bashar said Angelo spoke several times about the impact the trip was having on him. He found being immersed in a place where he didn't know the language and where the kids in the camp were often more violent than he was used to to be very powerful. "They were always talking and discussing what they were seeing in the Old City," said Sergio Bassoli, coordinator of Angelo's volunteers. "It was really shocking for them to see the social situation, but not the politics, because the politics is something only in theory." While he was walking with some friends at 7:30 p.m. August 10 near Herod's Gate, a man came up behind him with a knife and stabbed him two times in his back and then once in his neck. Angelo died soon afterwards after losing a critical amount of blood. He was planning to return to Italy two days after he was killed. - M.K.