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  1. #1
    IB Senior Member mohammed farah's Avatar
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    BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been released by kidnappers in Gaza after nearly four months in captivity.
    He said it was "fantastic" to be free after an "appalling experience". TV footage showed Mr Johnston, 45, leaving a building accompanied by armed men.

    He later appeared beside Hamas leader Ismail Haniya and thanked everyone who had worked for his release.

    Rallies worldwide had called for Mr Johnston's release. An online petition was signed by some 200,000 people.

    The BBC reporter was handed over to officials of the Hamas administration in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

    Hamas' military wing had said it would actively work towards securing Mr Johnston's release, warning his kidnappers it was prepared to use force.

    Gunmen from the Palestinian Islamist Hamas movement overran Gaza last month, expelling their rivals from the Fatah faction.

    Fatah's defeat in Gaza prompted its leader, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, to sack Mr Haniya as prime minister.

    Security push

    Mr Johnston was abducted on 12 March by the Army of Islam, a shadowy militant group dominated by Gaza's powerful Dugmush clan.

    The group released three videos, two of which featured footage of the kidnapped correspondent.

    It said it would kill its captive if its demands for the release of Muslim prisoners in British custody were not met.

    A senior Hamas official, Mahmoud Zahar, said no deal was done with the kidnappers to secure Mr Johnston's release.

    He added that Hamas did not work towards the release "to receive favours from the British government".

    "We did this because of humanitarian concern, and to achieve a government aim to extend security to all without fear."


    A Hamas leader living in exile in Syria, Khaled Meshaal, told the Reuters news agency Mr Johnston's release revealed the failings of the preceding Fatah administration.

    "It showed the difference between the era in which a group used to encourage and commit security anarchy... and the current situation in which Hamas is seeking to stabilise security," Mr Meshaal was quoted as saying.

    'Dreamt of freedom'

    Appearing at a press conference alongside Hamas leader Haniya, Mr Johnston thanked everyone who had worked towards his release.

    "The last 16 weeks have been the very worst of my life," he said. "I was in the hands of people who were dangerous and unpredictable."

    "I literally dreamt many times of being free and always woke up back in that room."

    Mr Johnston said he was not tortured during captivity but he did fall ill from the food he was served.

    He said Hamas' seizure of power in Gaza and its subsequent pledge to improve security in the territory had facilitated his release.

    "The kidnappers seemed very comfortable and very secure in their operation until... a few weeks ago, when Hamas took charge of the security operation here," he said.

    The journalist said he was moved twice during his spell in captivity.

    Radio contact

    Having worked in Gaza for the past three years, Mr Johnston said he was well aware of Palestinian traditions of hospitality and regarded his abductors as an "aberration".

    He described his experience of captivity as "appalling" and "occasionally quite terrifying".



    "It became quite hard to imagine normal life again," he said.

    He said he was looking forward to being re-united with his family in Scotland, expressing sorrow that his "actions" had brought turmoil to their lives.

    He had a brief conversation with his father over the telephone after being released.

    Mr Johnston said he stayed aware of efforts to free him by listening to the BBC World Service on the radio.

    News of global demonstrations in his support was a source of comfort to him, he said.

    The BBC has issued a statement expressing relief and delight at its employee's release.

    Mr Johnston left the Gaza Strip later on Wednesday morning, entering Israel via the Erez crossing.

    Link:http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/6267928.stm

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    Full Member Idris's Avatar
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    BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    INDEPENDENT - Wed, 04 Jul 2007 06:36:29 GMT

    Kidnapped British journalist Alan Johnston was freed today after almost four months.

    Mr Johnston said he was speaking from the home of Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

    He said the kidnappers had seemed very "comfortable" and "sure of themselves" until a couple of weeks ago when it became clear Hamas was going to be in charge of the security operation in Gaza.

    "I know Hamas security forces did a lot to make their presence felt," he said.

    "I might have been in that room for a lot longer."

    He also said during the past five days he had been moved twice as his kidnappers became more anxious.

    "I know how much the Palestinian people were feeling this wasn't right," he said.

    "I have to say especially to Palestinian journalists how much they were pressing, pressing for efforts to free me.

    "Across the Palestinian political spectrum there was condemnation."

    Ismail Haniyeh, former Prime Minister of the Palestinian National Authority, said he wanted to thank the Popular Resistance Committees for their efforts to free Mr Johnston.

    He said the cooperation showed the strength of people working together in Palestine.

    He presented Mr Johnston with gifts including a Palestinian flag.

    Hamas had demanded Johnston's freedom since it violently seized control of Gaza last month, in an apparent bid to gain favour with the West.

    Yesterday, Hamas gunmen took positions around the stronghold of the Army of Islam, the shadowy group holding Johnston, stepping up the pressure to secure his release.

    Johnston was kidnapped from a Gaza City street on March 12.

    Hamas had said it knew where to find him but had not raided the hideout for fear he would be harmed.

    But yesterday, members of Hamas' 6,000-strong militia moved on to rooftops of high-rise buildings and deployed gunmen in streets in the Gaza City neighbourhood inhabited by the Doghmush clan. The large, heavily armed family leads the Army of Islam.

    Within hours, Alan Johnston was free.


    From www.SpideredNews.com
    Hamas to the rescue! That's the evil Hamas by the way.

  4. #3
    IB Senior Member gladTidings's Avatar
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    BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    BBC correspondent Alan Johnston has been released by kidnappers in the Gaza Strip after 114 days in captivity.
    Mr Johnston, 45, was handed over to armed men in Gaza City. He said his ordeal was like "being buried alive" but it was "fantastic" to be free.



    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/mid...st/6267928.stm
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

    ....If thou knowest not thy God, thou art a slave of men;
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  5. #4
    Bat-Mod Muezzin's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    The two stories were posted simultaneously so I merged them into one thread.

    It's very good news.

  6. #5
    IB Senior Member mohammed farah's Avatar
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  7. #6
    IB Oldskool Keltoi's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Good news is always welcome
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

    "Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he is not, and a sense of humor was provided to console him for what he is."

  8. #7
    Full Member Skywalker's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    I just finished watching the live press conference on BBC, and I'm quite impressed with the way Alan presented what happened to him. He talked in way that didn't offend anybody, being almost totally neutral, while at the same time showing appreciation towards Hamas for his release.

    Alan's really a sweet guy, I got the feeling that he doesn't hate anyone, not even his captors, as he told the press that he actually understands where they're coming from. He even mentioned that there are people in the West who have similar mentalities towards Arabs as his captors do towards non-Muslims.

    The question on my mind now is, how will this affect people's opinions of Hamas, if it affects them at all? Alan stated several times that Hamas, although controversial, is quite capable of enforcing law and order where it is needed. But will the world continue to see them as a bunch of terrorists, or will attitudes begin to change? This is something that I am quite interested in seeing in the next few days/weeks.

    One thing I did notice in the way Hamas and especially Ismail Haneya conducted themselves was that they seemed the be desperate for international recognition and acknowledgement. Kind of like a kid at school who everybody says is no good, but constanty wants to prove himself to others. For me, I think this was a good indication of their willingness to work towards moderation...and I hope they continue down this path.
    Last edited by Skywalker; 07-04-2007 at 06:34 PM.
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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  9. #8
    Account Disabled Cognescenti's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker View Post
    ....
    The question on my mind now is, how will this affect people's opinions of Hamas, if it affects them at all? Alan stated several times that Hamas, although controversial, is quite capable of enforcing law and order where it is needed. But will the world continue to see them as a bunch of terrorists, or will attitudes begin to change? This is something that I am quite interested in seeing in the next few days/weeks.
    .
    It is a good sign that Hamas is cognizant of outside opinion, but, according to the LA Times, Hamas was allied with the group holding him in the past and actually cooperated with them in kidnapping an Israeli soldier. It all seems rather cynnical.


    It also seems that someone knew where he was the whole time. It does also demonstrate the ineptitude of Fatah.

  10. #9
    Full Member Skywalker's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Cognescenti
    It is a good sign that Hamas is cognizant of outside opinion, but, according to the LA Times, Hamas was allied with the group holding him in the past and actually cooperated with them in kidnapping an Israeli soldier. It all seems rather cynnical.

    It also seems that someone knew where he was the whole time. It does also demonstrate the ineptitude of Fatah.
    If I remember correctly, I think they mentioned that the Army of Islam was once a part of Hamas until they eventually split due to differences in idealogy. I also remember them saying that the Army of Islam consists of a lot of former Hamas members. I think given these facts that it's not very surprising that they knew where he was. Hamas even said that they knew where he was but were afraid to storm the place lest something happen to Alan. I think that we should all just be thankful that he made it out alright
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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    IB Senior Member Zman's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Skywalker View Post
    If I remember correctly, I think they mentioned that the Army of Islam was once a part of Hamas until they eventually split due to differences in idealogy. I also remember them saying that the Army of Islam consists of a lot of former Hamas members. I think given these facts that it's not very surprising that they knew where he was. Hamas even said that they knew where he was but were afraid to storm the place lest something happen to Alan. I think that we should all just be thankful that he made it out alright


    Yes, you're correct on this.

    Also, I heard on the news a couple of days ago, that Hamas was beginning to crack down on the AOI.

    Hamas is moving cautiously & wisely. It first took on the crime families (after neutralizing Fatah), now have secured the release of the Journalist (which is a big plus in its favor and a measure of it's sincerity and devotion), then it's taking on the AIO. All this with an eye on Fatah, Israel, the West, some hostile Arab states.

    I wonder how Hamas will deal with the Islamic Jihad members in Gaza...

  13. #11
    Account Disabled Cognescenti's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post


    Yes, you're correct on this.

    Also, I heard on the news a couple of days ago, that Hamas was beginning to crack down on the AOI.

    Hamas is moving cautiously & wisely. It first took on the crime families (after neutralizing Fatah), now have secured the release of the Journalist (which is a big plus in its favor and a measure of it's sincerity and devotion), then it's taking on the AIO. All this with an eye on Fatah, Israel, the West, some hostile Arab states.

    I wonder how Hamas will deal with the Islamic Jihad members in Gaza...
    AIO?

    If Hamas can restore law and order in Gaza and get rid of Fatah's obvious corruption and cronyism, they deserve some credit for that, but their biggest interantional obstacle is still the Hamas charter and the elimination of Israel.

  14. #12
    Full Member NobleMuslimUK's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released



    It was very noble of Hamas to have him released. Lets hope Israel is co-operative in the peace process with Hamas instead of calling them terrorists. Although I seriously doubt the zionist has ever wanted peace with their arab neighbours.
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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  15. #13
    IB Senior Member Zman's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Cognescenti View Post
    AIO?

    AOI, that's my abbreviation for the Army Of Islam...

  16. #14
    IB Oldtimer Amadeus85's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Zman View Post


    Yes, you're correct on this.

    Also, I heard on the news a couple of days ago, that Hamas was beginning to crack down on the AOI.

    Hamas is moving cautiously & wisely. It first took on the crime families (after neutralizing Fatah), now have secured the release of the Journalist (which is a big plus in its favor and a measure of it's sincerity and devotion), then it's taking on the AIO. All this with an eye on Fatah, Israel, the West, some hostile Arab states.

    I wonder how Hamas will deal with the Islamic Jihad members in Gaza...
    I read in a newspaper that Hamas nowadays stop Islamic Jihad from firing the rockets at Israel cities, because Israel controls Gaza's bordrers. Hamas is afraid that Israel may stop the petrol and food supply for Palestinians. So it can be there a humanitarian crisis.
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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    Full Member Skywalker's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Didn't they already cut the petrol lines? Or they were going to...
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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  18. #16
    IB Oldskool Keltoi's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    I read on the news this morning that Israel killed 8 Hamas members today. I guess its time for another round.
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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  19. #17
    IB Addict IbnAbdulHakim's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    so nice to hear good news
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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  20. #18
    Full Member Skywalker's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    Quote Originally Posted by Keltoi
    I read on the news this morning that Israel killed 8 Hamas members today. I guess its time for another round.
    You mean this?

    GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Israeli troops crossed into the Gaza Strip, killing eight Hamas militants in a fierce gunbattle Thursday that drew in Israeli aircraft, tanks and bulldozers.

    Israel said its troops were on a routine foray against Palestinian rocket squads
    (does this mean that more rockets were fired from Hamas?) when they came under fire from the militants about half a mile inside the Gaza Strip. Hamas said its fighters surprised an Israeli undercover unit.

    Witnesses reported a heavy exchange of fire as Israeli tanks and bulldozers moved in, backed by air power.

    As soldiers took up positions on rooftops, militants fought back by laying mines and firing small arms and mortars.

    Two mortars landed on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing, which has been closed to most traffic since Hamas wrested control of Gaza last month, the army said. No one was hurt.

    Hospital officials said six militants were killed in the clash. All belonged to Hamas, the group said, adding that the dead included its central Gaza field commander.

    Two more Hamas militants were killed later Thursday in Israeli missile strikes targeting the same area, the army and hospital officials said. The fighting erupted near the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, a site of frequent clashes between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli army.

    Elsewhere along Gaza's northern border with Israel, Hamas officials said some 15 tanks and three bulldozers had moved into Palestinian farms and were leveling the land. The army said it had no such vehicles in the area.
    (hmmm...who to believe?)

    Meanwhile in Gaza City, meanwhile, some 400 Fatah civil servants were prevented from entering their offices as part of the power struggle between the moderate Palestinian government in the West Bank and the Hamas rulers of Gaza. The territories have been functioning as separate entities since Hamas seized Gaza by force last month.

    The Hamas-dictated work week in Gaza runs from Saturday to Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday assigned as the weekend. Salam Fayyad, the new Palestinian prime minister, recently announced the Palestinian work week would run from Sunday through Thursday, as it does in Israel.

    Hamas forces on Thursday barred people from entering government offices, saying they were closed because it was the official weekend. Most Palestinian civil servants are loyal to Fatah.

    "We told them that the government in Ramallah announced new weekend days but they said the people in Ramallah are not the government," said Imad, 40, who works at the public works ministry, and refused to give his last name for fear of Hamas retribution.

    "We are not coming on Saturday because its the official weekend. This is the beginning of the battle against the coup government in Gaza," he said.

    Abu Dajana, a Hamas security officer, said the orders of the "legitimate government" in Gaza would be implemented.

    On Wednesday, Gaza government employees loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah collected their first full salaries in 15 months. Civil servants who sided with Hamas' bloody takeover of Gaza were not paid.
    (heh, notice the wording "bloody takeover"? It's actually not the case, it's not only the people that participated in the takeover that aren't getting paid, but anybody who joined the Hamas government after it was elected)
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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    IB Addict IbnAbdulHakim's Avatar
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    Re: BBC's Alan Johnston is released


    hamas has someone call "abu Dajana" lol mashaAllah tabarakAllah

    may he live up the the beautiful sahabi's nature! Ameen !!
    BBC's Alan Johnston is released

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