Hamas arrested and imprisoned British freelance journalist and
documentary filmmaker Paul Martin in Gaza on Sunday (Feb. 14). A
spokesman for the terrorist organization said Martin had "violated
Palestinian law and the security in Gaza" but provided no details of
Martin's alleged crimes.
The Hamas spokesman said only that Martin would be held for 15 days but
declined to elaborate further.
was in Gaza to testify on behalf of a man accused of collaborating with
Israel. From 2004 - 2007, numerous foreign journalists were kidnapped
in Gaza by various militant factions and subsequently released. Martin
has worked for the BBC and The Times of London, among other outlets. The BBC's Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston, was kidnapped in March 2007 and held for nearly four months before being released.
Foreign Press Association in Israel issued a statement on Martin's
arrest, expressing deep concern and calling on the Palestinian
authorities in Gaza to immediately release the journalist. "We
expect the Hamas as we do all parties, to respect the rights of every
journalist on assignment, to work without fear of being arrested," according to the statement.
Hamas has been in control of Gaza ever since carrying out a bloody coup
against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party
Journalists Kidnapped by Palestinian Militants in Gaza since Sept. 2004:
- March 12, 2007 - BBC
correspondent Alan Johnston is kidnapped by a Gaza-based clan calling
itself the Army of Islam. This group is thought to have ties to
al-Qaeda. Johnston's captors released a video on the Internet demanding
that Britain release several Muslim prisoners including Islamist
al-Qaeda cleric Abu Qatada.
- Jan. 7, 2007 - Jaime Razuri from Agence France-Presse is kidnapped and released almost a week later. The kidnappers were not identified.
- Oct. 23, 2006 - Emilio Morenatti, an Associated Press photographer, is kidnapped by unidentified Palestinian gunmen and released on the same day.
- Aug. 27, 2006 - Fox News
correspondent Steve Centanni and New Zealand-born cameraman Olaf Wiig
are held for two weeks by a previously unknown group identified as the
Holy Jihad Brigades. They were released unharmed after being forced to
convert to Islam.
- March 15, 2006 - Caroline Laurent, reporter for the French-language weekly ELLE; Alfred Yaghobzadeh, photographer for France's Sipa Press; and Yong Tae-Young, a correspondent for South Korea's KBS
are kidnapped from the Al-Dira Hotel in Gaza. Palestinian Security
Services claim the kidnappers are members of the Popular Front for the
Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). The journalists were released within 22
- Oct. 12, 2005 - Dion Nissenbaum and Adam Pletts of Knight Ridder News Service (now McClatchy Newspapers) are abducted by renegade members of the Fatah party. The journalists were freed later that day.
- Sept. 10, 2005 - Journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi of Corriere della Serra (Italy) is abducted in the town of Deir el-Balah in the central Gaza Strip. He was released the same day.
- Aug.15, 2005
- Journalist Mohammad Ouathi, a French citizen of Algerian origin is
kidnapped and released a week later. No group claimed responsibility.
- Jan. 8, 2005 - Ramon Lobo and Carmen Secanella, reporters for Spain's El Pais, are kidnapped briefly by Palestinian militants in Gaza's Khan Younes refugee camp.
- Sept. 27, 2004 - Riad Ali, producer for CNN
is abducted at gunpoint and released the following day. Ali claims that
the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades was behind his kidnapping but the militia
has denied the allegations.
 "British journalist detained by Hamas in Gaza," Haaretz, Feb. 15, 2010, http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1149688.html; Laub, Karin, "Hamas: British journalist ordered held for 15 days," The Associated Press, Feb. 15, 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jSihOOUUsvmMlI1Rz3JgqmTHDNsgD9DSGOT00
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