Incident Summary:

05/29/2001: Palestinian Militants claiming to be part of the Fatah Hawks kidnapped two journalists in the Gaza Strip. Joshua Hammer, an American and the Chief of Newsweek's Jerusalem Bureau, and Gary Knight, a British photographer, were kidnapped while en route to a refugee camp near the Gaza/Egyptian Border. A spokesman for the Fatah Hawks said the kidnapping was symbolic, intended to illustrate that there would be repercussions for America and Britain policies. The journalists were released unharmed, as promised, at 6 p.m. on the same day of the kidnapping. The Palestinian Authority claimed that a group named the Fatah Hawks no longer exited and that they had no connection with this incident. The perpetrators were not identified or apprehended and no casualties resulted from the incident.



West Bank and Gaza Strip

Middle East & North Africa

region/u.s. state:

Gaza Strip

Near Rafiah Yam

Location Details:
This incident took place en route to a refugee camp at the Gaza/Egypt border.

Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Hostage Taking (Kidnapping)
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Journalists & Media
Name of Entity Newsweek
Specific Description Joshua Hammer, the Chief of Newsweek's Jerusalem Bureau
Nationality of Target United States
Target Type: Journalists & Media
Name of Entity Journalist
Specific Description Gary Knight, a photographer on assignment in the Gaza Strip
Nationality of Target Great Britain
Additional Information
Hostages Yes
Number of Hostages 2
US Hostages 1
Hours of Kidnapping 6
Outcome Hostage(s) released by perpetrators
Ransom No
Property Damage No
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Doubt Terrorism Proper (more) No
Additional Information Prior to the kidnapping, the reporters met with militant Palestinian leaders in the town of Rafiah. The victims were kidnapped while heading toward a refugee camp near the border with Egypt to conduct another meeting with Fatah activists.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Fatah Hawks (suspected) Yes (Confirmed: Unknown; Mode: Unknown)
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators Unknown
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 0 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 0
Number of U.S. Fatalities 0
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 0
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"Gazans kidnap, then free two journalists," Financial Times Information (Global News Wire), May 30, 2001.
Barbara Demick, "Six die in latest Mideast bloodshed, putting talks in doubt," The San Diego Union-Tribune, May 30, 2001.