BEIRUT — Members of a Belgian family living in France may be the hostages who a radical Palestinian group claims to have kidnaped from a yacht off the coast of Israel, the Belgian government said today.
The Belgian Foreign Ministry in Brussels said it had the names of a family similar to those released by the Fatah Revolutionary Council, which claimed Sunday to have kidnaped the family. The group led by the notorious Abu Nidal said it captured a boat carrying six Israeli adults and two children.
But Israeli officials denied that the names released by the group were those of Israeli citizens.
Belgium said it had no independent confirmation of the incident, but it identified a Belgian family living in Lyon, France, as having similar names as those released by the Palestinian groups.
The Foreign Ministry identified the family as Emmanuel Houtekins, 42; his wife, Godelieve Kets, 48; son Laurent, 17; daughter Valerie, 16; and Houtekins' brother, Fernand, 40.