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British Journalist Seized by Hamas in Gaza

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 15, 2010

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Marcus Sheff: 011-972-2-6236427,marcuss@theisraelproject.org
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British Journalist Seized by Hamas in Gaza

Journalists Kidnapped by Palestinian Militants in Gaza since Sept. 2004
Freedom of Press in Israel


Iran-backed 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.[1]

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The Hamas spokesman said only that Martin would be held for 15 days but declined to elaborate further.[2]

Martin 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.[3] The BBC's Gaza correspondent, Alan Johnston, was kidnapped in March 2007 and held for nearly four months before being released.[4]

The 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.[5] "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.[6]

Hamas has been in control of Gaza ever since carrying out a bloody coup against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah Party inJune 2007.[7]

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.[8]
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  • Jan. 7, 2007 - Jaime Razuri from Agence France-Presse is kidnapped and released almost a week later. The kidnappers were not identified.[9]
  • Oct. 23, 2006 - Emilio Morenatti, an Associated Press photographer, is kidnapped by unidentified Palestinian gunmen and released on the same day.[10]
  • 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.[11]
  • 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 hours.[12]
  • 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.[13]
  • 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.[14]
  • Aug.15, 2005 - Journalist Mohammad Ouathi, a French citizen of Algerian origin is kidnapped and released a week later. No group claimed responsibility.[15]
  • 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.[16]
  • 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.[17]


[1] Laub, Karin, "Hamas: British journalist ordered held for 15 days," The Associated Press, Feb. 15, 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jSihOOUUsvmMlI1Rz3JgqmTHDNsgD9DSJO1O0

[2] Laub, Karin, "Hamas: British journalist ordered held for 15 days," The Associated Press, Feb. 15, 2010, http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jSihOOUUsvmMlI1Rz3JgqmTHDNsgD9DSJO1O0

[3] "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

[4] "TIMELINE: Kidnappings of journalists in the Gaza Strip," June 1, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSL0131128520070601; "BBC's Alan Johnston is released," July 4, 2007, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/6267928.stm

[5] Statements 2010," Foreign Press Association, Feb. 15, 2010, http://www.fpa.org.il/?categoryId=406

[6] Statements 2010," Foreign Press Association, Feb. 15, 2010, http://www.fpa.org.il/?categoryId=406

[7] "Hamas took over the Gaza Strip," Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, June 18, 2007, http://www.terrorism-info.org.il/malam_multimedia/English/eng_n/html/hamas_170607e.htm

[8] "Timeline: Kidnappings of journalists in the Gaza Strip," Reuters, June 1, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL0131128520070601

[9] "Timeline: Kidnappings of journalists in the Gaza Strip," Reuters, June 1, 2007, http://www.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUSL0131128520070601

[10] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[11] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[12] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[13] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[14] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[15] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[16] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html

[17] Gaza: CPJ renews call for release of abducted AFP photographer," Committee to Protect Journalists, Jan. 3, 2007, http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/mideast/gaza03jan07na.html


The Israel Projectis an international non-profit organization devoted to educating the press and the public about Israel while promoting security, freedom and peace. TheIsrael Project provides journalists, leaders and opinion-makers accurate information about Israel. The Israel Project is not related to any government or government agency.

 

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