The wife of one of the two Fox News staffers kidnapped in Gaza issued a public plea Wednesday for their release, while diplomats lobbied Palestinian officials.
Anita McNaught, the wife of abducted New Zealand cameraman Olaf Wiig, appeared on Israeli and Palestinian TV to declare that Wiig and Fox News correspondent Steve Centanni “are friends of the Palestinians. They are here telling the Palestinian story for weeks now, when the rest of the world's media has not been here."
New Zealand's ambassador to Israel and Turkey, Jan Henderson, met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Gaza to discuss the incident, hoping to spur the Palestinian Authority military’s search for the journalists. Meanwhile, a U.S. State Department said that "the U.S. government strongly condemns the kidnapping of these individuals and calls for their immediate release” and that consulate officials are working with the Palestinian government.
The silence of the kidnappers is unsettling to Fox and government officials. Typically, kidnappings in Gaza are followed by some claim of credit and demands in exchange for the abductees' release. That’s followed by negotiations and pressure applied to the kidnapping group's leaders, usually some splinter group of controlling political group Hamas.
However, the "typical" pattern was set before rising tensions over Israel's war against Lebanon's Hezbollah. Centanni and Wiig’s kidnappers have been quiet, with several militant groups in Gaza denying any involvement.
Gunmen abducted Centanni and Wiig Monday, using two vehicles to block Fox News’ vehicle -- clearly marked "TV." A masked man put a gun to the head of the crew’s bodyguard, then the kidnappers sped away with the two journalists.