Foreign kidnappings in Gaza and West Bank
GAZA CITY, March 12, 2007 (AFP) - The kidnapping of a British correspondent in the Gaza Strip on Monday was the latest in a string of abductions of foreigners in the Palestinian territories, all of whom were freed unharmed.
Following is a list of the hostage-takings since July 2005:
- July 13: Two engineers from Britain and Austria are held for a day by a Palestinian family trying to secure the release of jailed relatives before being released unharmed.
- July 29: An Australian woman and a Palestinian man working for the UN Development Programme are snatched in Gaza City and released several hours later.
- Aug 8: Three employees of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian refugees, a British woman, a Swiss man and a Palestinian, are abducted in Khan Yunis. They are released within a few hours by Palestinian security forces during a raid on a house.
- Aug 14: Mohammed Ouathi, a French television soundman for public television France 3, is seized near his hotel in Gaza on the eve of the start of Israel's pullout from the territory. He is freed eight days later. Three other crew members from the channel were able to evade capture.
- Sept 10: Italian journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi of the Corriere della Sera newspaper is held for several hours in the central Gaza Strip by members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an armed group loosely linked to Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas's ruling Fatah faction.
- Oct 12: American journalist Dion Nissenbaum and British photographer Adam Pletts of the Knight Ridder news organisation are abducted from the streets of Khan Yunis by a group made up of Fatah militants.
- Dec 21: The principal of the American School in Gaza, Dutchman Hendrik Taatgen and his deputy Brian Ambrosio, are kidnapped by gunmen and released after 12 hours.
- Dec 28: British rights worker Kate Burton and her parents are kidnapped at gunpoint close to the Rafah border crossing into Egypt. They were freed on December 30.
- Jan 1: An Italian peace activist is kidnapped and held briefly by masked gunmen in Khan Yunis.
- Feb 9: Egyptian diplomat Hussam al-Musseli is kidnapped and held for two days, the first time a diplomat has been targeted. His abduction is claimed by the previously unknown Al-Ahrar Brigades.
- March 14: Ten foreigners are kidnapped in Gaza following a fatal Israeli raid on a prison in Jericho, West Bank. All are released by the following day.
- Aug 14: Two journalists with US network Fox News, Steve Centanni and Olaf Wiig, are held for 13 days by an Islamist group. They are freed unharmed after making a video showing them converting to Islam.
- Oct 24: Spanish photographer Emilio Morenatti of the Associated Press news agency is kidnapped in Gaza. He is freed later the same day. No group claims responsibility.
- Oct 30: Robert Villa, a 34-year-old Spaniard working for an NGO, Cooperation Assembly for Peace, is briefly kidnapped in Gaza.
- Nov 21: Two members of the Italian Red Cross, Claudio Moroni and Gianmarco Onorato, are abducted while driving to Khan Yunis. They are freed the same evening.
- Jan 1: Agence France-Presse photographer Jaime Razuri is kidnapped outside the agency's offices in Gaza City.
- Jan 23: A French diplomat and two guards are briefly detained in the West Bank town of Nablus by activists of Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
- March 12: Armed men kidnapped a British correspondent for the BBC, Alan Johnston, after forcing him from his car in the Gaza Strip.
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