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Palestinian gunmen in Gaza City on Friday abducted two United Nations contractors - a Palestinian man and an Australian woman - and held the pair for three hours before freeing them unharmed.
It was the second abduction of a foreign citizen in Gaza this month.
Although no one was seriously hurt in either incident, they reflected the ongoing chaos plaguing the area.
Friday's abduction was carried out by relatives of a Palestinian security officer who was seized by rivals the previous day in the nearby Bureij refugee camp.
The family said it was trying to put pressure on the Palestinian Authority to release the officer, Jihad Abed, who remained in captivity on Friday.
United Nations Development Programme officials identified the abducted employees as Steve Sabila, a Palestinian photographer, and Zoe Constantine, a journalist from Australia.
Both were working as consultants for the agency when they were seized from a car in Gaza City on Friday afternoon, officials said.
Three hours later, the pair were released and taken by Palestinian officials to the office of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, a vocal critic of violence.
Shortly afterwards, they left the building in a Palestinian security car, accompanied by an Australian diplomatic vehicle.
The hostages refused to comment to reporters.
Abed's relatives said they were sorry about the abductions, but felt there was no other way to get attention from the Palestinian leadership regarding his captivity.
They said they treated their hostages as "guests," serving tea and allowing cameramen to view them.
Abed was seized on Thursday by a small group called the Jenin Martyrs' Brigades, which accused him of being corrupt.
Abed is not a senior officer, and it wasn't immediately clear why he was targeted.
The Palestinian security forces have been weakened by more than four years of fighting with Israel, internal rivalries and corruption.
As a result, Gaza suffers from frequent lawlessness, with vigilante gunmen operating in many areas with virtual impunity.
Earlier this month, two foreign aid workers were abducted by masked gunmen in a Gaza refugee camp, then released less than 24 hours later.


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