Ten hours after they were abducted by an unknown group in Khan Younis,
in the southern part of the Gaza Strip, the two Italian citizens,
working with the International Committee of the Red Cross, were free
after mediation from the Islamic Jihad and Fateh movements.
The Salah Ed Deen Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad, and Ahmad Hallas, a Fateh leader, conducted mediation of the abductors and managed to secure the release of the two Italians.
Spokesperson of the Red Cross in Jerusalem, Simon Schorno, identified the two employees as Claudio Moroni, 36, and Ginmarco Onorato, 63.
After the were freed, the two were moved, under the protection of Palestinian security personnel, to the home of Fateh leader Maher Abu Hallas before the were moved to the Beach Hotel, at the Gaza beach.
The abductors initially demanded that the EU should open an investigation in the death of the late president, Yasser Arafat, employment of three of their members in the security devices, and to give them higher military ranks.
Following the abduction, the Red Cross suspended its field work in the Gaza Strip after the abducted, Eyad Nasser, Red Cross spokesperson stated. He added that the employees would continue to work in Gaza, but inside their offices and would only intervene in urgent “life and death matters”.
P.A ministry of interior instructs security forces to locate the abducted Italian nationals
Saed Bannoura – IMEMC & Agencies, November 21, 23:19
The Palestinian Ministry of Interior and the National security Forces
in Gaza declared emergency state and instructed security personnel to
search for and locate the two Italian nationals abducted by unknown
gunmen in Khan Younis, in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.
Khaled Abu Hilal, spokesperson of the Ministry of Interior, stated that the security devices have some leads that could reveal the identity of the assailants.
Abu Hilal strongly denounced this act that harms the Palestinian people and their cause.
“We observe this act as a crime against the Palestinian people, and their national interests”, Abu Hilal stated, “This abduction is a free service to the benefit of the occupation”.
The two Italian nationals, working with the International Red cross, were abducted on Tuesday in Khan Younis.
Eyad Nasser, a spokesperson of the Red Cross in Gaza, said that the two attended a meeting at the Red Crescent headquarters in Khan Younis and headed to Gaza, but when they reached Al Matahin area, north of Khan Younis, they were ambushed by an unknown armed group and were taken to an unknown destination.
Currently, Palestinian security forces and policemen are conducting searches and installed several roadblocks.
Palestinian police sources reported that policemen found the vehicle that was used by the assailants near the place were the abduction took place.