Top Fatah official kidnapped in Gaza

Other News Materials 14 December 2007 11:51 (UTC +04:00)

( AP ) - Gunmen burst into the home of a top Fatah official in Gaza early Friday and kidnapped him, the man's family said, in the first such abduction of a politician since Hamas forces routed their Fatah rivals and overtook the strip in June.

Omar Al-Ghoul is an adviser to Salam Fayyad, the moderate Palestinian prime minister appointed to lead the West Bank government after Hamas took control of Gaza. Al-Ghoul is considered a harsh critic of Hamas and has a regular newspaper column in which he frequently attacks the Islamic movement.

Al-Ghoul arrived in Gaza from the West Bank on Thursday to attend the funeral of his mother-in law. Around 4 a.m. Friday, gunmen in civilian clothes burst into his Gaza home, turning it upside down and seizing Al-Ghoul, his relatives said.

There was no claim of responsibility. Hamas officials were not immediately available for comment.

After its violent takeover of the Gaza Strip in June, Hamas militants kidnapped several Fatah security officials but mostly refrained from targeting its political officials.