Spanish Photographer Taken Captive in Gaza

October 24th, 2006 10:38 AM
Photographer Emilio Morenatti, 37, of the Associated Press, was taken captive in the Gaza Strip this morning. No word from the captors yet, but my prayers are with Emilio and his family for his safe return! According to the captions on the photo wires, Emilio was accosted as he was leaving his apartment for an Associated Press vehicle, and was forced into the captors' vehicle. I'll fill in with more details as they come in. Hajed Hamdan, the AP driver assigned to pick up Emilio, was confronted by the captors, who stole his phone and keys, and instructed him at gunpoint to turn away. The vehicle was reportedly a white Volkswagen. It will be interesting to see the reason for Emilio's capture. Based on the wire photographs he's been sending out, he is fairly well connected with Palestinian militants, or at the very least, is openly allowed to operate around them. At least, Arutz Sheva is claiming as much. Is he being used as leverage in the battle between Fatah and Hamas? Will demands be made for the release of prisoners from Israel for his return? No word yet, but I'll report as soon as I hear anything. (There is extensive news coverage of this event, too detailed for me to list here. Stay tuned for updates at Snapped Shot!)