Hamas Intercedes For BBC Reporter, Barghouti Praises Him
* Comical if not tragic: Different factions of terror organizations compete against each other in the great game of kidnapping and extortion…
(IsraelNN.com) The Islamist terror group Hamas has agreed to intercede on behalf of missing BBC reporter Alan Johnston.
Hamas chief Ismail Haniye has agreed to intercede, sending a threatening dispatch to Gaza’s Doghmush clan, which is reportedly holding Johnston. Haniye said he warned them that Hamas would react harshly if Johnston is harmed and not released soon, according to British Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat.
Earlier this week, Hamas Parliamentary Speaker Ahmed Bahr called for the killing of every last Jew and American. Johnston is neither of those, working for a news agency that is considered one of the most sympathetic, outside the Arab world, to the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority.
Jailed terror chief Marwan Barghouti has described Johnston to the Associated Press as a “friend of the Palestinian people” and PA Information Minister Mustafa Barghouti said of the reporter at a protest for his release that he “has done a lot for our cause.”
Johnston disappeared on March 12. Hamas has refrained, until now, from actively accusing the clan holding Johnston. Gaza criminal and terrorist groups have repeatedly kidnapped Western journalists, receiving jobs, funds and weapons in return for their speedy release.
Not a single kidnapper in the dozens of abductions that have taken place since Israel left Gaza have been put on trial or jailed by the Palestinian Authority.
But the demands of the particularly powerful Doghmush clan are reportedly beyond what Hamas can supply. The group may have been encouraged by Britain’s apparent willingness to negotiate with Iran over the release of its troops, and reasoned that the same applies to Britain’s national media conglomerate, the BBC. In addition to the size and armor of the clan, their willingness to shift loyalties from Fatah to Hamas and back again reportedly make it difficult for either Abbas or Haniye to attain Johnston’s release.
The kidnappers demands reportedly include such things as the release of an Iraqi female would-be suicide-bomber jailed in Jordan for attempting an attack in the Hashemite capital of Amman.
Johnston’s alleged kidnapping has also benefited Hamas, with the British government meeting Hamas officials for the first time due to the affair.
Despite Haniye’s tough words before a press conference attended by scores of concerned journalists, senior PA security man Rashid Abu Shubak told the Arabic Al-Ayyam that confronting the clan of kidnappers is not an option. Abu Shubak said that the kidnappers’ identities are known, but that due to the “volatile” situation in Gaza, they could not be confronted.
Another report cites a British request to Fatah chief and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas not to attempt a rescue operation, out of concern that it would endanger Johnston.
Here’s more from Al BebeeceeraÂ
Excerpt: “We in the government are deeply sorry and ashamed that this kidnapping is ongoing, especially since he is a friend of our people and has done a lot for our cause.
“His kidnapping is detrimental to our nation and our national cause,” Mr Barghouti said.Â