Here’s something you don’t see every day: Good news from the Gaza strip.
Alan Johnston, the BBC journalist held hostage in the Gaza Strip since March, was handed over by his Islamist captors to ruling Hamas officials on Wednesday, a Palestinian source close to negotiations for his release said.
The source and another Palestinian involved in the talks both said they saw the 45-year-old Briton being taken into the care of officials from the Hamas movement, which seized full control of Gaza three weeks ago.
Hamas gunmen on Tuesday took up positions around the stronghold of the shadowy group holding Johnston, stepping up the pressure to secure his release.
Members of Hamas’ 6,000-strong militia moved onto high-rise rooftops and deployed gunmen in streets in the Gaza City neighborhood of the Doghmush clan.
Update: Here’s the vid, with plenty of Hamas savages crowding in for a little lens time. Many thanks to our pal “Flying Dutchman” for clipping it.
Update: I can’t wait to hear what kind words he has for Hamas. But for now:
“It is the most fantastic thing to be free,” he said.
He described his experience of captivity as “appalling” and “occasionally quite terrifying”.
“It became quite hard to imagine normal life again,” he said.
“I literally dreamt many times of being free and always woke up back in that room.”
Khaled Meshaal, the leader of Hamas, is already touting this as proof of the “security” they’ve brought to the strip.