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Gaza BBC reporter’s life likely to be spared

BBC Monitoring

Doha Al-Jazeera Satellite Channel in Arabic was observed at 1233 gmt on 1 June to interview live via satellite its correspondent in Gaza, Wa'il al-Dahduh, to comment on Prime Minister Isma'il Haniyah's remarks vis-A -vis the launch of the security plan, as well as today's release of video footage of abducted BBC journalist Alan Johnston.

    Commenting on local reactions to the Johnston tape, Al-Dahduh says: "Reactions here have been diverse, but almost all of them agree that the image of British reporter Alan Johnston in a red jumpsuit raises concern over his fate after this tape was compared to similar tapes that come out of Iraq and other countries. This was material for arguments, analyses, and predictions by different Palestinian sides, but informed sources favour the scenario that Alan Johnston's abductors, Jaysh al-Islam, will spare his life, at least for now, and want through this tape to revive the matter and pressure the relevant parties, be they Palestinian or British, to expedite the resolution of the situation according to the conditions they [the abductors] set."

    He adds: "However, we understood from the informed sources, which were perhaps privy to negotiations between the British and the abductors, that the conditions will not be met at present, and that the British Government still insists on its objection to the use of force by the Palestinian Government to free Johnston."

    Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1233 gmt 1 Jun 07

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