Seven kidnappers armed with automatic rifles pulled over the car occupied by Kate Burton and her parents Hugh and Winnie Burton and then bundled them into a white vehicle on December 28, 2005, as she was showing her parents around the Palestinian town of Rafah close to the border with Egypt.
The Palestinian authorities stepped up efforts to find the three persons by setting up road blocks in the area. The militant group al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades condemned the kidnappings. There were also public protests in Gaza calling for their release.
Palestinian mediators said on December 30 that they expected the hostages to be released shortly. Subsequently, all three hostages were released on December 30. The family released a statement saying that Kate intended to continue working in Gaza.