AP photographer kidnapped in Gaza

Palestinian gunmen kidnapped an Associated Press photographer in the Gaza Strip today, grabbing him as he walked out of his apartment and whisking him away in their vehicle, a witness said.

Emilio Morenatti, 37, the photographer, was heading out of his apartment for an AP car, where Majed Hamdan, an AP driver and translator, was waiting.

Hamdan said four gunmen grabbed his keys and phone and told him to turn away, pressing a gun to his head and threatening to harm him if he moved.

Then they grabbed Morenatti, shoved him into a white Volkswagen and drove off, Hamdan said.

Morenatti, from Jerez, Spain, has been working for the AP in Jerusalem since April 2005.

As part of his job, he would periodically go to the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

Previously, Morenatti covered the war in Afghanistan for the AP. He also worked for EFE, the Spanish news agency.

Palestinian militants in Gaza have often kidnapped foreign journalists and aid workers. All those kidnapped have been released unharmed.

In August, two Fox News journalists were kidnapped in Gaza and held for two weeks.

Photo: Reuters 

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