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Palestinian Hamas wing issues statement on release of BBC journalist

BBC Monitoring

Text of report by Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website on 4 July

    [Military Statement by Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades: "Release of Journalist Johnston is Palestinian National Interest Realized by Efforts of Loyal People in Abidance by Shari'ah, Ethical, National Stand"]

    Four months have passed on the kidnapping of British Journalist Alan Johnston in Gaza. We rejected this from the very first moment and reiterated our eagerness and feverish efforts to end this file that has been a cause of great pressure on our people and gave a picture that does not befit a steadfast and struggling people who defend a just cause and seek to regain sacred rights.

    In the wake of the new state of affairs that the Gaza Strip witnessed following the decisive security battle and the termination of the lawlessness and infighting that nearly made our cause slip into dark mazes, we intensified our efforts to release Johnston as part of tackling all the consequences and repercussions of the regrettable incidents and the security lawlessness. We were confident that the file will be ended in a manner that serves the interest of our people and cause.

    Now that the journalist has been safely released after using wisdom and decisiveness to end this serious and important file, we in the Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades affirm the following:

    1. Johnston's release constitutes a new era for establishing security in the strip. Therefore, we call on all the sons of our people to unite and cooperate to establish and enhance this security and discard all that will exacerbate tension in our Palestinian arena.

    2. We thank all those who participated and cooperated with us to achieve this honourable solution, particularly our brothers in the legitimate government, the Hamas Movement, the Executive Force, the Popular Resistance Committees, Army of Islam, and the Palestinian ulema.

    3. We will not accept in any case whatsoever that any Palestinian party resume the style of kidnapping foreigners for they are the guests of our people and we need every voice to convey the image of our people's ordeal, their rights, and cause to the world.

    4. The termination of this file with the brothers in the Army of Islam and their acceptance at the end of the shari'ah and ethical stand confirms their sincere inclination for cooperation with us from this moment to impose security and stability. We praise and value this stand.

    5. We reiterate our support for the legitimate government's efforts to implement the security plan and combat all the causes, manifestations, and vestiges of the past stage of lawlessness and chaos and we emphasize our determination to enforce law and order.

    6. We congratulate the journalist and his family on his freedom and we ask God that this freedom will also be enjoyed by our unjustly treated prisoners who are in the Zionist occupation jails and all prisoners in the prisons of injustice anywhere in the world.

    [Signed] Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades

    [Dated] Wednesday, 19 Jamadi al-Akhirah 1428 hegira, corresponding to 4 July 2007

    Source: Izz-al-Din al-Qassam Brigades website in Arabic 4 Jul 07


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