Israeli Arab kidnapped in Gaza Strip is freed

Jaffa resident went to visit wife and kids who are not allowed to enter Israel.

April 8, 2007 00:48
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The Israeli Arab who was kidnapped in Gaza on Saturday night has been released, Israel Radio reported Tuesday morning. Jihad Ziara, a 46-year-old from Jaffa, was kidnapped by four gunmen in the Gaza Strip after visiting his wife and children. The reason for the kidnapping remains unclear. Ziara had traveled to Gaza in order to visit his wife and children who live in the Strip and are not permitted to enter Israel. No group claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and Gaza Police have not responded to the report. In a similar incident in October 2006, Palestinian gunmen attacked the Al-Luh family - an Israeli Arab family from Taiba - during a visit to the Gaza Strip, kidnapping the father, Riyad al-Luh. Riyad was released several days later. Gaza has been the scene of a spate of kidnappings in recent months. Before the Hamas-Fatah coalition agreement, both groups often snatched rival members. Journalists have since become the target of such kidnappings. On March 12, masked Palestinian gunmen kidnapped BBC reporter Alan Johnston from his car. Johnston remains in captivity.

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