The wife of a New Zealand cameraman kidnapped by Palestinian gunmen along with a U.S. television reporter appealed in Gaza on Wednesday for their release, saying their abduction was pointless.
Cameraman Olaf Wiig and Fox News Channel reporter Steve Centanni, an American, were seized by masked gunmen on Monday in Gaza City. No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
“I will not leave without him. I hope he is released soon,” said Wiig’s wife Anita McNaught, a journalist who learned of the abduction after she had just completed an assignment covering the war in Lebanon.
“This for me is completely pointless, worse than pointless, it is a completely destructive act,” she said.
“I cannot see that it helps anyone, taking two professionals like this and kidnapping them,” McNaught said. “They are exactly the sort of people the people of Palestine need, the people of Gaza need to tell their story to the world. By taking them hostage they have taken that from the Palestinian people.”
On the verge of tears, she said she wanted her husband to know: “We are working very, very hard to get you home and your colleague, too.”
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh have ordered all security agencies to search for the two hostages and secure their release.
The kidnapping was the first involving foreigners in Gaza since the Hamas-led government was sworn in in March.
Several previous kidnappings were resolved bloodlessly. Kidnappers had often been locked in disputes with the Palestinian Authority over jobs or the release of jailed relatives from prisons.