British man detained in Gaza

Hamas officials say journalist suspected of breaking the law.

February 15, 2010 08:53
1 minute read.
journalists pinned down 298

journalists 298. (photo credit: CNN)

Hamas security forces arrested a British man in Gaza on Sunday, British and Hamas officials said.

Hamas police spokesman Ehab Ghussein identified the man as a journalist and said he was suspected of breaking the law, but did not elaborate. The man's name was not released.

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The British consulate in Jerusalem confirmed the arrest, but did not say whether the man was a journalist.

"We are urgently looking into the matter and following up with the responsible people so we can sort this matter out on the consular level," said Fadi Adeeb, a spokesman for the consulate.

A spokesman for a Palestinian terrorist group, the Abu Rish Brigades, said the journalist was at a Gaza courthouse Sunday to show support for a member of the brigades who was being tried on charges of providing information to Israel.

During the trial, a judge ordered the journalist to be taken into custody and held for two weeks, said the spokesman, who only gave his nom de guerre, Abu Ahmed.

Ghussein said Hamas security forces have obtained "confessions that the British journalist violated Palestinian law and the security of the state." He did not explain further.

Hamas is eager to improve its image in the West and has generally not interfered with the work of foreign journalists since seizing control of Gaza in 2007.

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