Kidnapped in Gaza is a fast-paced thriller set in Israel and Gaza. The hero is Richard Ireton, the Jerusalem bureau chief for Epoch Magazine, an American weekly newsmagazine. He is eyewitness at the beginning of the story to a shooting incident in the West Bank involving Israeli soldiers and Palestinian hillside snipers. On his return to Jerusalem he discovers that two Jerusalem-based British reporters are providing credibility in a British newspaper and on the BBC to Palestinian allegations of an Israeli cold-blooded murder of the captured Palestinian shooters. The source for this story is an Abdul Husseini, senior representative of a Jerusalem-based Palestinian human rights organization. Through his Israeli landlady, Ireton has an opportunity to interview in a private setting an Israeli soldier who was present at the shooting scene to which Ireton was an eyewitness. The soldier happens to be the landlady's nephew and the Hebrew-English interpreter at this meeting is the soldier's sister, Rayna Shanach, a strikingly beautiful young Israeli woman who turns out to be a captain in Israeli military intelligence. Rayna makes it possible for Ireton to scrutinize military intelligence archives that throw doubt on the atrocity story not only because the alleged eye-witness, a Palestinian school-teacher called al-Jaffar, has a background of previous arrests but because Abdul Husseini has clear connections with the Muslim Brotherhood, the core organization behind the Palestinian movement Hamas, which rules Gaza. The school-teacher al-Jaffar, meanwhile, has gone to ground in Gaza out of fears that Israeli authorities might reach him and cause him to change his story. Ireton, knowing he is taking a risk, decides to drive to Gaza and see if he can meet with al-Jaffar through connections in Hamas. When Ireton arrives at the Hamas Interior Ministry in order to obtain an interview with the school-teacher, he discovers an old friend from China, a researcher-spy called Yao whom Ireton met in a previous adventure in China, has also been invited to sit down with al-Jaffar. Ireton/Yao through questioning make it clear they don't believe al-Jaffar's story. Leaving the building after the interview, Ireton is kidnapped after unknown assailants block the car in which he is traveling. He ends up in a makeshift basement cell of a private residence in Gaza. His captors say they belong to a hitherto unknown organization, the Followers of the Caliph. The group forces Ireton at gunpoint to make a video threatening that they will start murdering foreign diplomats living in Israel unless the countries they represent cut off diplomatic relations with Israel. A deadline is given for this to start happening, failing which Ireton will be executed and the assassination of foreigners in Israel will begin. Ireton's whereabouts in captivity, however, are known to Israeli intelligence though a GPS chip that Rayna arranged to be installed in an ornate leather belt that Ireton bought during a dinner meeting with Rayna. The Israeli government is deeply worried that the threat to foreign diplomats living in the country could seriously threaten the country's international security. It thus prioritizes a Special Forces rescue team to locate Ireton and get him out of Gaza. The rescue is dramatic and fraught with risk. But another, personal risk has, meanwhile, been confronting Ireton: His long-time Filipina girlfriend Trish is visiting the country as a tourist. Ireton is torn between loyalty to her and fascination with Rayna. After the rescue, however, Ireton apologizes to Rayna for flirting with her, is reunited with Trish and has a good laugh with Yao, who is now back in Jerusalem.
Used availability for David Aikman's Kidnapped in Gaza
April 2012 : USA Paperback
April 2012 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition