Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Fears Mount for BBC Reporter Kidnapped in Gaza

The BBC reporter kidnapped a month ago in Gaza is still missing. This is the longest a foreign national has been held in the Gaza Strip. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Fears mounted Monday within the Israeli defense establishment regarding the fate of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who was abducted a month ago by masked Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

Security officials noted that a month was the longest a foreign national had been held in the Strip and did not rule out that the kidnapping had "gone wrong" and that Johnston had been injured.

Four gunmen snatched Johnston, 44, from his car on March 12 as he headed to his apartment in Gaza City.

The Jerusalem Post has also learned that the Defense Ministry recently allowed a delegation of Arab diplomats and security officials from countries that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel - including Saudi Arabia - to enter Gaza on behalf of the British government.

PA cabinet meeting convened in Gaza amid anarchy

"It is as if he was swallowed up by the ground," a defense official told the Post, noting that no Palestinian group had taken responsibility for the kidnapping. The official also raised the possibility that Johnston had been injured during his captivity.

"Something might have gone wrong and that is why we haven't heard anything," he said.

Remainder of the article is
--Wendy in Washington

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