Breaking: Fox News Journalists Could Be Released in the Next Few Hours

Updated

From Fox News:

JERUSALEM — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said Saturday that he hoped the case of two kidnapped FOX News journalists would be resolved “in the coming hours.”

The journalists, correspondent Steve Centanni, 60, of Washington, D.C., and cameraman Olaf Wiig, 36, of New Zealand, were seized in Gaza City on Aug. 14. Their captors demanded the release of all Muslims imprisoned by the U.S. in exchange for freeing the FOX journalists.

The kidnappers said they were members of a previously unknown group called the Holy Jihad Brigades. It was not clear whether they were local militants, either with ties to Hamas or the rival Fatah movement, or whether they sneaked into Gaza from outside.

“We hope that this issue is going to be over in the coming hours,” Haniyeh, a Hamas leader, said in a statement.

Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Abu Hilal said authorities were exerting efforts to release the journalists, but were not negotiating with the kidnappers.

Allah at Hot Air has more.

Update: The Jerusalem Post reports that Centanni and Wiig will be released unconditionally and unharmed:

The kidnappers of the two Fox News journalists abducted in Gaza City on August 14 have promised to release them unharmed, Palestinian Authority officials said on Saturday night.

According to the officials, the PA has managed to establish contact with the kidnappers, who promised to resolve the affair peacefully.

PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said he had personally received assurances from the kidnappers that the two, reporter Steve Centanni, from the US, and cameraman Olaf Wiig, from New Zealand, would be released unharmed and unconditionally.

PA Interior Minister Said Siam, who is in charge of part of the PA security forces, announced that significant progress had been achieved in efforts to secure the release of the men.

“There are encouraging indications that the two will be released soon,” he said, refusing to elaborate.

Ghazi Hamad, a spokesman for the Hamas-controlled PA government, also said that he was “very encouraged” that the two would be released soon. “I believe they will be released soon because of a breakthrough in the negotiations with the kidnappers,” he said.

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  1. Stephen Macklin August 26, 2006
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