AUGUST 14, 2005
Posted August 17, 2005
Mohamed Ouathi, France 3 Television
Mohamed Ouathi, a soundman for France 3 Television was forced into a car by three men with rifles as he walked to his hotel with colleagues in Gaza City, according to international press reports.
No group claimed responsibility for the abduction. Ouathi was among the large media contingent covering Israel’s pullout from the Gaza Strip. Palestinian officials in Gaza said they were helping to find Ouathi, a French national.
Kidnappings, including those targeting members of the press, have been on the rise in Gaza over the last year. In separate incidents in August gunmen seized five U.N. workers in the Gaza Strip, but released them unharmed the same day. In September 2004, CNN producer Riad Ali was seized at gunpoint from a car in which he was riding with CNN colleagues. He was released the next day unharmed. In May 2004, armed men attempted to bundle New York Times reporter James Bennet into a car while he stood outside a hospital in Gaza during an escalation in the fighting. He resisted his attackers and avoided capture.