A German national, apparently a human rights activist, was kidnapped Thursday evening by unidentified gunmen in Nablus in protest of the Prophet Muhammad cartoons published in newspapers all over the world. He was released shortly afterwards.
According to initial reports, the gunmen snatched the German, later identified as 21-year-old Christopher Kasten, from his hotel lobby, shoved him into a car and sped away.
The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the kidnapping.
Christopher Kasten (center) upon his release (Photo: Reuters)
Upon his release, the German citizen told Ynet that he was not angry at the Palestinians and would continue helping them through his profession as a volunteering English teacher.
He said that he was in good condition and that no one threatened him or used violence against him. He did not know who had kidnapped him, but said he believes that the kidnappers did not represent the Palestinian people.
Earlier Thursday al-Aqsa Brigades gunmen in Nablus threatened to kidnap foreigners staying in the city’s hotels or apartments.
'We'll abduct and hurt European citizens'
Dozens of Islamic Jihad and Fatah gunmen stormed the European Union building in the Gaza Strip on Thursday to protest the publication of Prophet Muhammad cartoons in a Danish newspaper.
The armed Palestinians demanded an official Danish apology for the caricatures, which the gunmen said hurt the feelings of Muslims.
Meanwhile, a different group associated with Fatah, the Abu-Rish Brigades, issued an eight-hour ultimatum to Denmark and a similar demand for an apology. The group's announcement noted that should Denmark and Europe fail to apologies, "We'll abduct and hurt all citizens of the European countries who hurt Islam's feelings and honor."
The attack on the EU offices is the second this week. On Sunday, 15 masked al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades gunmen stormed the EU building and demanded an immediate apology from Denmark and Norway for publishing cartoons that offended many Muslim nations.