ISRAEL and the Occupied Territories, including the Palestinian Authority Territories

AUGUST 22, 2005
Posted: August 26, 2005

Mohamed Ouathi, Daily News

Mohammed Ouathi, a soundman for France 3 television was released unharmed, eight days after unidentified gunmen seized him in the Gaza Strip.

No group claimed responsibility for Ouathi’s abduction, which triggered a protest by Palestinian and foreign journalists in Gaza.

A Palestinian militant umbrella group called the Popular Resistance Committees said it had helped mediate Ouathi’s release but it did not identify the kidnappers.

Ouathi was forced into a car on August 15 by three men with rifles as he walked to his hotel in Gaza City with France 3 colleagues.

Kidnappings, including those targeting members of the media, have been rising in Gaza over the past year. Some Gaza kidnappings appear to be efforts by armed Palestinian factions to embarrass the Palestinian Authority and use hostages as bargaining chips to win the release of imprisoned comrades.