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Red Cross Representative Kidnapped in Gaza Strip - 2002-11-07

A group of armed Palestinians has abducted a representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross in the Gaza Strip.

Red Cross representative, Nocolai Hanke, was abducted at gunpoint while handing out food to Palestinians in the refugee camp in Khan Younis, south of Gaza city.

He was forced into a car in front of several witnesses and taken away.

The kidnapers then phoned the Red Cross offices in Khan Younis and allowed Mr. Hanke to speak to his colleagues.

Mr. Hanke said he was in a good condition and had not been harmed. The abductors reportedly made no demands and it is not clear why he was kidnapped.

The Red Cross has appealed to the Palestinian Authority to secure his immediate and safe release.

In September, three Italian journalists were kidnapped in Gaza, and then released unharmed.