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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Photographer Kidnapped by Palestinian Gunmen in Gaza

JERUSALEM -- Palestinian gunmen kidnapped a Spanish Associated Press photographer in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, grabbing him as he walked out of his apartment and whisking him away in their vehicle, a witness said.

Emilio Morenatti, 37, the photographer, was heading out of his apartment for an AP car, where Majed Hamdan, an AP driver and translator, was waiting. Hamdan said four gunmen grabbed his keys and phone and told him to turn away, pressing a gun to his head and threatening to harm him if he moved.

Then they grabbed Morenatti, shoved him into a white Volkswagen and drove off, Hamdan said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the kidnapping.

Ghazi Hamad, spokesman for the Hamas-led Palestinian government, condemned the kidnapping, saying it "damages the reputation of the Palestinian people."

"The government will take all steps to ensure his release," Hamad said.

Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas spokesman, said the kidnapping "contradicts our culture and our morals and our religion." He said the Islamic militant group called on the kidnappers "not to harm Emilio and release him immediately."