British journalist held by Hamas

Correspondent for The Times and the BBC Paul Martin accused of 'violating security' by Hamas officials and held in Gaza City.


By Jessica Elgot, February 15, 2010
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Freelance journalist Paul Martin will be held for a fortnight in Gaza by Hamas

Freelance journalist Paul Martin will be held for a fortnight in Gaza by Hamas

A British journalist is being held in Gaza for ‘violating security’, Hamas has announced.

Freelance journalist Paul Martin, who has reported for the BBC and The Times, will be held by Hamas for a fortnight awaiting a court hearing.

The British consulate in Jerusalem confirmed that Mr Martin was being held and said it was “very concerned”. A spokesman said Mr Martin’s family had been informed.

Hamas Interior Ministry spokesman Ehab Ghussein said: "We have confessions that the British journalist committed offences against Palestinian law, and that harms the security of the country."

But t is unclear what is the nature of Mr Martin’s offence.

Mr Martin has briefly been detained in Gaza previously, while reporting for The Times at an anti-Hamas demonstration.

On that occasion, he and a cameraman were reporting on a pro-Fatah demonstration by female students who were attacked by Hamas security forces. They were briefly detained in a police cell before being released.

Last updated: 11:30am, February 15 2010