Tuesday, July 3, 2007

BBC Reporter Released in Gaza

After spending nearly four months in captivity, BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been freed thanks to the efforts of Hamas negotiators.

BBC's Gaza correspondent released

It seems the "era of justice" in Gaza has truly begun.

Alan Johnston hugging Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh.


michael said...

It seems the "era of justice" in Gaza has truly begun.

Era of justice?
Hamas forced the release of a man who should never have been kidnapped in the first place, and did it in a manner which proves they could have done it at any time over the last four months...

From AP, via Yahoo News:

Ayman Taha, a Hamas spokesman, said Johnston's captors had responded positively to recent efforts by tribal and religious leaders to end Johnston's ordeal. Taha said the Army of Islam would not be dismantled or disarmed in return for freeing the reporter.

Army of Islam spokesman Abu Khatab al-Maqdisi, who had been arrested by Hamas as a potentially valuable bargaining chip earlier this week, said his faction would work together with Hamas, a one-time ally.

Yup, sure sounds like there will be a lot of justice here.
Johnston was freed because it was no longer politically expedient to keep him locked up. Hamas only ended the matter becuase it had become an embarrassment.
Johnston may know this, too:

Haniyeh wrapped up the news conference by draping a Palestinian flag around Johnston's shoulders, which he quickly removed...

There may be "justice" in Gaza, but it's only justice for those with heavy armaments. Take a look at what's happening to Christians in Gaza, now that Hamas is in charge:

Terrified Christian Palestinians in Gaza are frantically seeking ways to flee the tiny territory following an attack on a convent.

Soon after Hamas seized control of Gaza 10 days ago, a school and a chapel inside the compound of a Rosary Sisters convent were attacked by militia groups. They burnt crosses and Bibles as they stole computers and other equipment.


Christians can continue living safely in the Gaza Strip only if they accept Islamic law, including a ban on alcohol and on women roaming publicly without proper head coverings, an Islamist militant leader in Gaza told WND in an exclusive interview.

The militant leader said Christians in Gaza who engage in "missionary activity" will be "dealt with harshly."

The threats come two days after a church and Christian school in Gaza was attacked following the seizure of power in the territory by the Hamas terror group.

"I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza," said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a "military wing" to enforce Muslim law in Gaza.

Yup, that's "justice in Gaza."

Nabulsi said...

"Father Manuel Musallam, head of the Latin community to which many Gaza Christians belong, said that his congregation feels more secure under Hamas control. He added that relations between his community and Hamas are very strong. Musallam goes regularly to visit Ismail Haniyeh, who briefs him on current developments.

It is noteworthy that the Hamas parliamentary group includes one Christian deputy, Hossam Al-Tawil. Hamas appointed one Christian minister in its new cabinet, formed one week after the movement took control of Gaza. Haniyeh made it absolutely clear that his government wouldn't hesitate to confront all forms of religious "coercion" and would punish anyone "depriving the people of their right to act freely as long as they did not break the law."