Wednesday, July 04, 2007

BBC Man Freed in Gaza after 114 Days

Alan Johnston's ordeal ended in the early hours of this morning when he was released unconditionally.

He appeared pale but in reasonable health after 4 months of solitary confinement and was articulate even during a chaotic press conference held at the home of the sacked Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya. Colleagues in Jerusalem praised Alan, a 45-year-old Scot, as "superman" for his professional calm. Since March, the BBC had urged Hamas not to resort to a military rescue, and the reporter's release followed Hamas's exchange of prisoners with the Army of Islam faction, Jihadists who dooperate with the criminal Dogmush clan. Late Tuesday, Hamas militia on rooftops surrounding the windowless room where Johnston was held engaged in a firefight which killed a civilian in crossfire. Johnston survived captivity unharmed and finally is headed home.

Israelis anxiously await the release of the other Gaza captive, Corporal Gilad Shalit, siezed by the same renegade Jihadist faction more than a year ago, when they tunneled under the border into Israel. Poignantly, today marks the 31st anniversary since the Entebbe raid, a secret mission when Israeli special forces freed hostages held at Entebbe Airport in Idi Amin's Uganda. One Israeli soldier, 45 Ugandan soldiers, six hijackers, and three hostages were ultimately slain during the rescue action; 100 hostages were let go. Haniya, chuffed from the release of Johnston, told the press that "the ball is in Israel's court" and wants to swap prisoners.


red heifer said...

Surely Farfour the Martyr Mouse will be used in a prisoner swap to get Gilad Shalit. Or was that what actually secured Alan's release?

redwhite&blue said...

Dunno if Scotland is gonna be much calmer than Gaza. Better avoid Glasgow airport and the Tiger Tiger nightclub in London.
Good thing Johnston's health is ok so he need not go to a terrorist NHS doc.
What a nasty world of terror this is.

Happy 4th of July. Freedom rocks

Anonymous said...

So will the Brits now deal with Hamas? 20 MPs proposed so today.
And check this BBC analysis. Shame that the crime of kidnap puts feathers in the cap of Hamas.