An Israeli man and Norwegian woman kidnapped by Bedouin criminals in Sinai are not believed to be facing death threats, Egyptian police sources said Sunday.
The Israeli hostage has been identified as 23-year-old Amir Omar Hassan, an Arab resident of the northern Israeli city of Nazareth.
The two were kidnapped Friday as they traveled between resort towns on Sinai’s coast -- despite repeated warnings by Israel's Counter-Terrorism Bureau not to travel to or enter the Sinai Peninsula due to a high risk of kidnapping and terror attacks specifically targeting Israeli and other foreign citizens.
The Bedouin captors are demanding the release of an imprisoned clansman who is currently jailed in Egypt on suspicion of having murdered police officers. Egyptian officials are in contact with the captors.
“There have been multiple kidnappings in the Sinai of U.S. citizens over the past four years, and kidnappings of foreign tourists in the Sinai have increased since January 2012,” the travel advisory by the Israeli government recently warned.
Most of the kidnappings that have occurred in the region -- some of which have snared European citizens as well -- have involved Bedouin tribes seeking to trade foreign hostages for Bedouin prisoners.