Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Hamas frees Johnston at last

From Khalid Amayreh and news agencies

"....Efforts to release Johnston had repeatedly failed due to what one Hamas official described as “negative interference and obstruction” by Palestinian Authority security circles loyal to Dahlan and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. “You know the security apparatus affiliated with the treasonous camp did everything to keep Johnston in captivity in order to embarrass the government. “Today, Hamas is proud to announce that it has fulfilled its promise to free Johnston unharmed,” said Fawzi Barhoum, a Hamas leader in Gaza.....

Referring to the American-backed Ramallah-based Abbas-Dahlan Fatah regime, Mishaal said "it showed the difference between the era in which a group used to encourage and commit security anarchy and chaos and the current situation in which Hamas is seeking to establish law and order.” .....

Meanwhile, the Israeli government is voicing “consternation” and “worry” at the public relations victory Hamas has achieved following its success to free Johnston. One Israeli journalist said “Undoubtedly, the Israeli government which is hell-bent on isolating Hamas is now worried that the release of Johnston will greatly enhance the image of the movement.” The journalist who spoke on condition of anonymity added that “Johnston’s release is also bad news for PA leader Mahmoud Abbas who is trying to de-legitimize Hamas in coordination with Israel and the United States.”"

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