Photographer Emilio Morenatti, 37, of the Associated Press, was taken captive in the Gaza Strip this morning. No word from the captors yet, but my prayers are with Emilio and his family for his safe return!
According to the captions on the photo wires, Emilio was accosted as he was leaving his apartment for an Associated Press vehicle, and was forced into the captors' vehicle. I'll fill in with more details as they come in. Hajed Hamdan, the AP driver assigned to pick up Emilio, was confronted by the captors, who stole his phone and keys, and instructed him at gunpoint to turn away.
The vehicle was reportedly a white Volkswagen.
It will be interesting to see the reason for Emilio's capture. Based on the wire photographs he's been sending out, he is fairly well connected with Palestinian militants, or at the very least, is openly allowed to operate around them. At least, Arutz Sheva
is claiming as much. Is he being used as leverage in the battle between Fatah and Hamas? Will demands be made for the release of prisoners from Israel for his return? No word yet, but I'll report as soon as I hear anything.
Emilio, I'm hoping and praying for your safe return!
(There is extensive news coverage
of this event, too detailed for me to list here. Stay tuned for updates!)Update 12:24 EST
: It would appear that Reuters is blaming Israel and the United States
, to nobody's surprise, for the "continued lawlessness" in the West Bank and Gaza. Of course, the local population's open support
of terrorists has nothing
to do with the lawlessness that terrorism brings about, does it?
Tags: emilio morenatti