Who wrote this Jerusalem Post report? There's no by-line, and no AP credit, other than the photo. But it sounds like
bullshit a snow job to me.
Hamas said Friday it is taking "serious and practical steps" to win the release of kidnapped BBC journalist Alan Johnston.
Hamas spokesman Abu Obeideh told reporters in a midnight news conference that Hamas, which seized control of Gaza a day before, "will not allow anyone to attack journalists or foreigners, because they are helping our people."
Earlier, a person involved in the negotiations for Johnston's release said the captors promised to free him within 24 hours.
In seeking Johnston's release, Hamas is sending a signal to other armed groups that it intends to impose order in chaotic Gaza.
Johnston, 45, was snatched in Gaza three months ago by a group believed to have some links to Hamas, and a message purporting to be from his captors has demanded the release of Islamic prisoners, including a cleric being held in Britain.
Hamas has been negotiating with the captors through a mediator. An official involved in the talks, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks, said the captors pledged Friday to release Johnston within 24 hours.
Hamas. The white knight of Western journalists in distress throughout the Middle East. Just dial 1-800-RESCUME and your friendly neighborhood terrorist gang will come to your aid.
Who do they think they're kidding? Everyone, I guess.
Early Friday, Hamas spokesman Abu Obeida demanded that those holding Johnston free him at once.
"We will not allow his continued detention," he said. "We warn against not releasing him."
Johnston was seen for the first time since his abduction in a video posted two weeks ago on a Web site used by Islamic militants. He appeared calm and said he was being well-treated and was in good health.
Right. He also said some extremely uncomplimentary and rather irrational things about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, his own country, the U.S. and, of course, Israel ("the cause of all the suffering of the palestinian people"). Completely voluntarily, I'm sure.
We're all anxious for Mr. Johnston's safe return to his home and his family, and we certainly wouldn't ask the media to do anything to jeopardize that, so if our newspapers and broadcasters feel it necessary to flatter and cajole Hamas, to selectively report what's happening in Gaza and to actively mislead the public in order to make that happen (or even just to increase the likelihood that that will happen), I guess that's just the price we have to pay. Isn't it?