Italian hostage freed in Gaza

Palestinian security forces storm building, free him after shootout.

January 1, 2006 02:14
3 minute read.
Kate Burton 298 ap

Kate Burton 298 ap. (photo credit: AP)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


Palestinian security forces stormed a building where an Italian hostage was being held, freeing the man after a shootout with his kidnappers, Palestinian security officials said. The hostage was seen being taken out of the building to safety by security personnel. There were no immediate reports of casualties from the shootout. The Italian had been traveling with a European parliament delegation, according to an Italian parliamentary official. Shortly before the report of the hostage's release, a faction of the al-Aksa Martyrs' Brigades took responsibility for the kidnapping. The gunmen demanded that in exchange for the hostage's release, a new investigation be opened into the circumstances surrounding the death of former PA president Yassir Arafat and that "corrupt" Fatah heads be removed from power. Armed men in two cars stopped a minibus carrying 10 foreigners as it was driving through the town, forced one passenger out and into one of their vehicles before speeding away to an unknown destination, other passengers said. On Saturday, Palestinian Authority officials expressed deep concern over the growing state of anarchy and lawlessness in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, warning that the PA was rapidly losing control. Some Palestinians compared the situation to what's happening in Somalia, which is divided by fiefdoms run by clan leaders and warlords. "The situation in the Palestinian territories is very dangerous because we are no longer in control," a senior PA official here admitted. He said the latest cycle of internal violence, including the kidnapping of foreigners, attacks on public buildings and installations, and gun battles between rival gangs and clans, raise serious doubts as to whether next month's parliamentary elections could be held on time. Gunmen belonging to the ruling Fatah Party over the weekend issued several warnings to international monitors against arriving in the Palestinian territories to observe the elections. On Saturday, a group of gunmen stormed a hotel in Nablus and kicked out a number of foreign monitors who had arrived in the city to prepare for the vote. More than 120 monitors from different countries are expected to oversee the vote. The gunmen, who identified themselves as members of Fatah's armed wing, the Aksa Martyrs Brigades, said they were determined to foil the PA's plan to hold the elections next month. Another Fatah gang in the Gaza Strip said it would prevent foreigners from using the Rafah border crossing with Egypt.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

A MEMBER of ISIS waves the group’s flag in Raqqa recently
May 22, 2019
Sweden proposes international court to try ISIS fighters - Report