Immediate attempts to clarify the situation
Vienna, 13 July 2005 - According to information from the Palestinian security forces, an Austrian working for an Austrian company in the Gaza Strip and a British citizen are being held by a Palestinian refugee family.
Foreign Minister Ursula Plassnik immediately dispatched the Head of the Austrian Liaison Office in Ramallah to Gaza with instructions to obtain a first-hand picture of the situation, to help clarify the background and report back to Vienna.
Since the situation became known the Austrian representative has been in constant contact with the Palestinian security authorities, who on their part have made contact with the refugee family. Furthermore, the Head of the Austrian Liaison Office is in contact with staff of Austrian projects in the region who have expert local knowledge in order to compile as much pertinent information as possible.