An Italian journalist has been abducted in Gaza. It is a sign of growing lawlessness in the final countdown to Israel’s military withdrawal.
Palestinian sources suggested Lorenzo Cremonesi’s kidnapping could be linked to the occupation of government buildings by gunmen from President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction. That took place at Deir al-Balar, the same spot where the newspaper reporter was seized. However he later called colleagues to say he was well and was being held by the militant al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades. Elsewhere Egypt was deploying troops along its border with the Gaza Strip. Their task is to stop arms smuggling to Palestinian militants. They are replacing Israeli soldiers whose withdrawal could begin as early as Sunday. They have been blowing up their last military posts in the Gaza Strip.