Kidnappers were Palestinians looking for jobs

23rd August 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 23 (AFP) - A group of Palestinian gunmen who abducted a French television soundman were sacked security force members looking for leverage to demand jobs and get back at the Palestinian interior ministry, one of the mediators told a French newspaper Tuesday.

PARIS, Aug 23 (AFP) - A group of Palestinian gunmen who abducted a French television soundman were sacked security force members looking for leverage to demand jobs and get back at the Palestinian interior ministry, one of the mediators told a French newspaper Tuesday.

The Libération daily quoted sheikh Jamal Abu Samadana, the leader of a Gaza militia known as the Popular Resistance Committees, as saying "it was not a political problem" that led to the abduction of Mohamed Ouathi, a Frenchman of Algerian origin who works for the France 3 state television network.

Ouathi, 46, was released Monday after being held for eight days by a group of armed men who abducted him as he was leaving a Gaza Strip restaurant with the other members of his crew.

He refused to divulge the identity of his kidnappers at a media conference.

"It is an inter-Palestinian affair. I can say only that," he said, adding that he thanked Samadana's group for helping to get him freed.

In an interview with Liberation, Samadana said the kidnappers had contacted his militia and asked him to act as a go-between with the Palestinian authority.

"The kidnappers are former members of the security services who were fired and want to find work. They are also part of a family that has a problem with the interior ministry," Samadana said.

Libération called that description euphemistic, and described the "problem" as a "violent vendetta that has already caused resulted in five deaths, a dozen people wounded and that has undermined the authority of the Palestinian leadership in Gaza since last November."

Ouathi's abduction was the latest in a string of kidnappings in Gaza that have proved extremely embarrassing to the Palestinian Authority, which is trying to prove it can keep law and order after Israel completes its withdrawal from the Palestinian territory after a 38-year occupation.

The United Nations decided earlier this month to indefinitely withdraw its non-essential staff from Gaza after five of its workers were kidnapped in Gaza in recent weeks. All those abducted were released unharmed within hours.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news, terrorism, kidnapping, France 3, Ouathi, Gaza, Palestinian Authority, Libération

 

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