Three British citizens were kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen as they entered the Gaza Strip from Egypt. Palestinian security forces are negotiating with the gunmen, an official said. Recent kidnappings of foreigners in Gaza have ended without bloodshed and with the hostages being released unharmed. Security officials said that one of the victims is a human rights worker but had no further details. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. The kidnappings have undermined Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ attempts to establish order in the coastal strip following Israel’s withdrawal this summer. Abbas’ critics have accused him of giving in to kidnappers’ demands, thereby encouraging more abductions.
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