Skip to comments.Palestinians Look for 2 Fox Journalists
Posted on 08/15/2006 11:45:56 AM PDT by Blogger
Palestinian security forces hunted for two abducted Fox News journalists Tuesday, and the Palestinian president and prime minister intervened in an attempt to gain their release.
President Mahmoud Abbas and Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Hamas-led government, scheduled meetings with the news organization's Jerusalem bureau chief, Eli Fastman, and its chief correspondent in Israel, Jennifer Griffin.
The prime minister assured the Fox News representatives that Palestinian security forces would use all their power to "put an end to it soon," said government spokesman Ghazi Hamad said, without elaborating.
Investigators said the president's office was closely following the probe into the abduction.
American reporter Steve Centanni, 60, and New Zealand cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, were seized by masked gunmen Monday near the headquarters of the Palestinian security services.
No one has claimed responsibility for kidnapping, and police said no demands have been made. Major militant groups denied any connection to the abduction.
U.S. officials said they were in touch with Abbas' office, Palestinian security officials and the Israelis to see if they can help secure the journalists' release.
"Certainly we are concerned about their safety, that is why we are working to ensure their freedom," said Micaela Schweitzer-Bluhm, a spokeswoman for the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem.
She said it was still unclear who was holding the journalists.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Helen Clark dispatched diplomats to Gaza to assist in any contacts for their release. She said she was "very concerned" about the kidnapping.
Wiig's wife, Anita McNaught, said Fox representatives told her negotiations for their release were already under way. But officials in Gaza said no contact had been established with the kidnappers.
Nabil Abu Rdeinah, an Abbas aide, said the president ordered all security forces to work on tracking the two journalists. "This is an unacceptable act. We condemn this operation and hope we would succeed to find a peaceful solution very soon," he said.
An investigator in the case, speaking on condition of anonymity so as not to jeopardize the investigation, said suspicions were focusing on a renegade group from an established Palestinian militant organization, but he declined to give further details. The car in which the journalists were taken has been identified, he said.
Centanni was behind the wheel of the Fox vehicle, marked in large letters "TV," when the gunmen pulled up and stopped them, a Fox employee said. A Palestinian who was with them was forced onto the floor at gunpoint, and the two journalists were taken away.
An official following the investigation said the getaway car was spotted driving south along the coastal road.
Police and security forces were deployed at major intersections and roads in Gaza immediately after the kidnapping.
Several foreigners have been kidnapped in Gaza by small groups seeking the release of relatives from jail, jobs or other personal favors. All have been freed within a few days without harm.
Fox's VP has E-Mailed everyone insisting no further reporting be done on this while negotiations are underway. I heard this on Fox Radio News at 5:30 AM, and did not hear of it again on any 1/2 hourly broadcast throughout the day ( to my annoyance). Then I realized that decision wasn't a "news" one, but a "tactical" one.
Level every house in Gaza until the Paliwhackers give 'em up.
I want to know why FOX is not talking about this kidnapping.
Read my post. 2 up.
If you doubt me, travel to the Drudge-oba System you must. There the truth you seek you will find.
I believe they've been instructed not to.
And to just what do you base these assertions of yours?
Or was it just a flip remark?
I noticed that too! Fox's reporting today seemed sort of strange. I have yet to hear Fox mention the kidnapping.
I have a feeling of excessive fear for Steve's life. I dont think the guys who got ahold of him are just a political group making a statememt, I think they are pure terrorists.
Very difficult for them, I suspect.
They are at the heart of this story and probably don't want to do anything to further endanger Steve and his colleague.
Prayers for all concerned.
Fox has mentioned the kidnapping, but the report I heard did not give any names. I think they are trying to keep this very low key in the belief that a minimum of publicity will make negotiations go better. My guess is that it might not be Hamas but a freelance group of kidnappers who want a ransom.
Nicholas Centanni describes his brother, who graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor's degree in television and radio in 1977, as a gentle, peaceful man.
The newa blackout really makes it seem ominous. I am very concerned for their lives.
Could he have filmed something that would be very bad for the terrorists? They want to stop him from reporting it?