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Palestinian PM Hopes for Release of Kidnapped Journalists


Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh says he hopes two journalists abducted in the Gaza Strip will be released in the coming hours.

The prime minister, who belongs to the Islamic militant group Hamas, said he and the Palestinian Interior Minister Said Siyam are following the case closely.

Mr. Haniyeh did not say how he is getting information about the journalists, who work for the American television network Fox News.

Earlier Saturday, Palestinian government spokesman Khaled Abu Hilal said the men are unharmed.

A group calling itself Holy Jihad Brigades claimed responsibility for the kidnapping and is demanding that the United States release Muslim prisoners by Saturday.

Earlier this week, the kidnappers released a videotape of the hostages, Steve Centanni, an American, and Olaf Wiig from New Zealand.

Palestinian officials have condemned the kidnapping. The U.S. government says it does not give in to terrorists.

More than 24 foreigners have been kidnapped in the Gaza Strip over the last two years. Most of the hostages were released within hours. Centanni and Wiig have been held since August 14.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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