Journalist abducted in Gaza

MAY 18, 2007
Posted: May 30, 2007

Abdel Salam Abu Askar, Gaza Media Center


Abdel Salam Abu Askar, director of the private production company Gaza Media Center, was abducted for a short period by members of Hamas’ military wing in Gaza City.

Abu Askar told CPJ that Hamas gunmen stopped his car as he was leaving his Al-Naser neighborhood at around 7 p.m. The gunmen took him to two unknown locations and questioned him about the nature of his journalism and the financing for his media company, he said. Abu Askar told CPJ that the gunmen dropped him off near his home after holding him for about three hours.

Shahdi al-Kashif, managing editor of Ramattan news agency, said he later visited Abu Askar at the director’s home. Abu Askar was not physically harmed but looked fatigued, he said.

Gaza Media Center is a small production company that provides services for Fox News and Sky News, among other media outlets. Abu Askar has close ties to Mohammad Dahlan, a powerful Fatah figure in Gaza and President Mahmoud Abbas’ national security advisor, according to news reports.

The abduction followed intense clashes between Fatah and Hamas factions that broke out on May 13. According to The Associated Press, 41 people died in four days of fighting. Fatah and Hamas called a truce on May 16, according to news reports.