In the wake of the kidnapping of Agence-France Presse photographer Jaime Razuri in Gaza on Monday, government officials have officially asked that all foreign workers leave the Gaza strip for their own protection.
In an area where kidnapping of foreigners - who are then used as political bargaining chips by militant muslim militia groups - is common, some organizations have elected to stay put. Twenty foreign nationals were abducted last year alone.
Palestinian officials have received intelligence that warns of upcoming kidnappings. Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Razuri remains a mystery: no group has come foreward to claim responsibility.
. . . another security source said that the request was in part directed at expatriate employees of UNRWA, the UN relief agency for Palestinian refugeesBut UNRWA said it had no plans to pull its foreign nationals out.
"Christar Nordahl, deputy director in Gaza, confirmed receiving general advice from Palestinian preventative security about a general kidnap threat," UNRWA spokesman Johan Eriksson told AFP.
"In our view, this doesn't change the situation from what it has been in the past two years... at the moment we are staying put."
I hope this isn't another journalist who turns up with his head missing. . .