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13 Jun, 2007 23:05

Russian citizen remains detained in Palestine

The Russian Foreign Ministry says it is taking steps to investigate the detention of Sami Abu Snain, a Palestinian native, who is also a Russian citizen. He was seized by the Israeli forces in his home village of Shoka on June 10.

Sami Abu Snain’s friends and family members living in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar say they haven’t heard from him since and are concerned about his safety.

A surgeon and a father of three children, he was arrested by the Israeli troops during one of the recent raids.

Sami Abu Snain became a Russian citizen in the late 1990's. Like many of his fellow Palestinians, Sami Abu Snain has been studying in Russia and graduated from the Medical Academy in the Southern Russian city of Krasnodar which has an influential Arab student community.

After that the family moved to Gaza where Sami, a cardiovascular surgeon, has been performing operations at the European hospital.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says they have already contacted their Israeli colleagues and managed to meet with Dr Snain in the Ashkelon detention center. But the overall situation in Gaza, and this case in particular, seems to be causing growing concern among Russian diplomats.

While the two Palestinian rival groups continue to struggle for power, the situation in Gaza remains unstable. Together with the raids by Israeli forces, it has brought a lot of uncertainty into the lives of the ordinary people.