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Red Cross, U.N. Pull Foreign Staff From West Bank, Gaza

A U.N. aid agency and the International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday they were temporarily pulling all foreign staff out of the West Bank and Gaza, after gunmen kidnapped nine foreigners in just a few hours.

The kidnappings and attacks on Western offices came in protest against an Israeli raid of a West Bank prison. Angry Palestinians accused Britain and the United States of complicity in the raid because the two countries withdrew their inspectors shortly before the Israelis arrived to try to seize a top Palestinian militant leader.

The Red Cross asked all foreign staff to leave the West Bank and Gaza after a Swiss employee was abducted by gunmen in Gaza on Tuesday.

The U.N. Works and Aid Agency, which assists Palestinian refugees, also asked its foreign employees to leave the Palestinian areas.