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It lacked the brutality of Iraqi kidnappings, but for Steve Sabella, the ordeal one afternoon last month was a worrisome sign of Gaza's future. A photographer working on a project for the United Nations in Gaza City, Sabella was standing outside a beachfront hotel when six armed men grabbed him and an Australian colleague and stuffed them into separate cars. The gunmen explained their motives as they raced through the narrow alleys of a nearby refugee camp: one of their relatives, a member of Palestinian intelligence, had been abducted by a rival militia, and Sabella and his friend would be held hostage until his release. "They were angry that the Palestinian Authority was not doing its job to rescue him," Sabella, a Palestinian from Jerusalem, recounted recently. "They kidnapped us to put pressure on the Authority." The peculiar strategy apparently paid off. Within hours, all three captives--the relative, Sabella and the Australian--were on their way to a better place.


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