PCHR Condemns Kidnapping of US Citizen in Rafah
PCHR, Palestinian Centre for Human Rights
Ref: 87/2005, date: 24 July 2005, Time: 12:30 GMT
Second kidnapping in as many weeks a US citizen was kidnapped in Rafah early this morning. The unidentified kidnappers released their hostage after a short period. He was left in a school in Rafah, unharmed.
The kidnappers have escaped.
According to PCHR’s initial investigations at about 0645 on Sunday July the 24th an armed Palestinian wearing military garb broke into an apartment inside a residential block in the centre of Rafah.
The apartment is inhabited by 4 US citizens. Under threat of arms the suspect kidnapped Harry Borrey, 75 years old. He was ordered to get into a civilian car stopped near the building. 3 other masked and armed individuals were inside the car.
He was then taken to an unknown location. The reason for the kidnapping has not been made clear by the perpetrators.
PCHR has learned that Palestinian police found the victim an hour later in an UNRWA school. He was completely unharmed. The 4 US citizens came into Gaza this month to witness the consequences of the Israeli occupation on the Palestinian people.
They have conducted a series of visits in which they witnessed destruction across the Gaza Strip.
PCHR is especially concerned because this is the 2nd such crime in as many weeks. On July the 13th Voltaire Meterhammer, an Austrian national and Michael Radicano, a UK national were kidnapped by armed individuals from Iassa family in Gaza Strip.
The kidnappers took them to al Borrejj Refugee Camp in the middle area of the Gaza Strip and as a condition for the release demanded that the PNA release six members of the Iassa family who had been arrested on criminal charges. After some efforts by the PNA and other parties the two were released.
According to PCHR’s documentation there have been several kidnapping attempts in the last two years inside the Gaza Strip. Both internationals and Palestinians have been victims for various reasons.
It is unclear to PCHR what the fate of the kidnappers is and what measures have been taken by the PNA to confront this phenomenon. PCHR is deeply concerned by the repetition of this practise which takes place in the context of the continued deterioration in the security situation across the Gaza Strip.
PCHR demands that the PNA take effective measures within the limits of the law to immediately end this problem and to ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.