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Gaza…The Kidnapping of Foreigners - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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The Palestinians themselves have become victims to the state of lawlessness in Gaza. I cannot understand how relief workers, photographers and journalists from news agencies and foreign press organizations are kidnapped, whilst their mission is to convey the suffering of the Palestinians to the world. They witness and portray the events rather than make them.

How will the hostage-takers benefit from kidnapping a Peruvian photographer, who suffers from a heart condition and needs regular medication, and who came from his country to carry out a job in which he believes and that he loves, portraying the Palestinian suffering to the world? Agence France-Presse (AFP) photographer Jaime Razuri is a man who risked his life and visited dangerous regions to document what takes place there, only to be victimized!

It would be even worse if it came out that the reason for Razuri’s kidnapping was for ransom as was the case with other colleagues previously. The result was a further distortion of the Palestinian reputation.

It is odd that there has been no particular information about the hostage-takers. Moreover, we have not seen the kidnappers of foreign journalists, who were released, sent to jail. A Palestinian security official even advises foreigners to leave Gaza until the security situations stabilize, according to Reuters.

We are all aware that the state of lawlessness in Gaza is no longer exclusively caused by the Israeli occupation. Regrettably, the Palestinians themselves are to blame. Under the occupation, they have adopted the language of weapons, kidnapping and assassination. It is interesting that there are people in our Arab world who still proclaim that no voice is louder than the voice of battle; hence development and reform are delayed under the pretext of confronting the enemies. The Palestinians, however, failed to delay their internal differences and conflicts.

It is sad that those who cause most harm to the Palestinian issue are part of the Palestinian society itself through the mismanagement of matters in everyday life and conflict, and maladministration of competition amongst themselves.

Today the Palestinians are in dire need of international sympathy, particularly following the deplorable events between the Palestinians themselves. There are many who are not aware that the media today is dominated by the Palestinian- Palestinian conflict rather than the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

The image of the need for international aid was replaced by that of Ismail Haniya “worshipping” in Tehran, which according to Haniya has become Palestine’s strategic depth, replacing the Arab depth and international support.

The kidnapping of a journalist harms the cause as well as the occupied people, and veils the suffering of a people that expects international sympathy. It is painful that the culture of kidnapping is flourishing in our region even after it has been proven futile.

We see much vanity in Palestine though we cannot see any indication of maturity!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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