Hamas Militants vow to free BBC’s Johnston

Hamas has pledged to work to free BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who gunmen kidnapped in the Gaza Strip more than three months ago. The vow comes in the wake of Hamas’ bloody seizure of the Gaza Strip.

“We have started taking practical steps to release Alan Johnston,” the Islamic movement’s armed wing said, without giving further details. Sacked Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniyeh has echoed the sentiment, saying in an interview that the military takeover of Gaza by Hamas is good news for the journalist.

“From now on, there will be one legitimate armed force. We will bring discipline and law to Gaza,” Mr Haniyeh said in an interview with France’s Le Figaro newspaper.  “It will thus be easier to gain the liberation of the British journalist Alan Johnston. His kidnappers will listen to us more closely.”

Johnston has been held for 96 days after he was seized from his car as he drove home from work on March 12 in Gaza City. The 45-year-old, one of the few western reporters to be permanently based in Gaza, is by far the longest-detained westerner in the territory.

The Army of Islam has claimed to be holding the veteran newsman and has demanded the release of Islamic militants, particularly Palestinian-born cleric Abu Qatada who is detained in Britain.

Hamas announced it was cutting all ties with the Army of Islam after it claimed the abduction. Hamas officials, including Mr Haniyeh, have repeatedly called for Johnston to be released.

I hope so! Some of the Palestinians are now kidnapping for the sake of kidnapping. Alan Johnston is a friend of the Palestinians, having lived there for a number of years. He is one journalist who presents the Palestinian point of view.

This action brings nothing but the contempt of the world onto the extremist fools who commit this type of affront to civilised behaviour.

Free him!  Free him NOW!

3 Responses

  1. There is just so much going wrong in that region. I can’t understand what is gained by the abduction of journalists.

    I wonder what the whole gaza/west bank division is going to do. I’ve been wanting to write about that for a couple of days now but it will be a rather lengthy commentary so… we’ll see if I can get to it.

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  2. DAH DUM!
    I knew you were reading my blog :) :)
    Perhaps we need two Palestinian “sub-states”; one for Hamas and one for Fatah. Other than that I am very pessimistic regarding Palestine over the next century. Unfortunately, Palestine seems to fuel much of the Middle-Eastern psyche. There is one bright light on the horizon for America and the rest of the Western World. As China moves inexorably towards its destiny as the world super-power it will begin to attract the enmity of the Arab extremists and the fading West will be left alone.
    That began as an almost flippant thought. Then I started to wonder just who will be most hateful to the extremist Islamist. The Christians or Jews who worship many of the same books and have many beliefs in common with each other and the Muslims. Or the pagan Chinese who are still largely polytheistic. Hmmmmmm [wanders off looking thoughtful]

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  3. Apparently the two sub states is what is allready happening. Let’s see … US lifts sanctions from Abbas’s Palestinian government which will now fund Fatah and the West Bank. Unfortunately, Hamas gets funding from Iran and this will now turn bloodier than ever. The complications of all of this are going to be very severe. It is a major set-back to achieving a Palestinian state that will reach beyond the West Bank (no wonder all of a sudden Israel says it has a partner in peace with Hamas out – too bad it couldn’t have given Abbas the fighting chance to keep Hamas out when Hamas wasn’t in).

    It’s a shame.

    Okay – that’s enough of a sneak peak :-)

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