WASHINGTON (Jun. 26)
An American who was kidnapped in the Gaza Strip last week by three armed Palestinians is cooperating with Israelis investigating the abduction, the State Department said Monday.
Chris George, who is the West Bank-Gaza Strip representative of the Save the Children Foundation, was released unharmed Friday, 29 hours after he was abducted from his Gaza office.
Israeli sources had said earlier that George, who is considered hostile to Israel, had refused to cooperate in identifying his kidnappers and the location of where he was held.
But Richard Boucher, the State Department’s deputy spokesman, said that the U.S. Embassy in Israel is “satisfied that in fact he cooperated” with the Israeli officials investigating the kidnapping.
Boucher added that both the United States and Israel “have no reason to doubt that this was a real kidnapping.”
Israeli authorities had initially indicated that the kidnapping may have been staged, but they then dropped the accusation.
However, they still reportedly believe he cooperated with his abductors.