According to the Gaza-based Palestinian Human Rights Center, twenty-eight kidnappings, with a total of 55 foreigners including journalists and international workers, have taken place in Gaza over the past three years.
According to the Gaza-based Palestinian Human Rights Center, twenty-eight kidnappings, with a total of 55 foreigners including journalists and international workers, have taken place in Gaza over the past three years.

Over the said period of time, no body has ever claimed responsibility for such abductions and those taken hostage have been released unharmed!!!

In a new fresh kidnapping of a journalist in Gaza, unknown gunmen dragged last Monday British journalist Allen Johnston from a car he was riding in central Gaza to an unknown location.

Johnston has been staying in Gaza over the past three years, showing an amazing courage under the large-scale chaos, Gaza has been going through, just for the sake of his ‘valuable job’ as a reporter for the British Broadcasting Corporation BBC.

Gaza is now almost vacated of all foreign journalists, except the now ‘helpless hostage’ Allen Johnston!

Why he has been kidnapped?, a question which Johnston’s Gaza colleague, Fayed Abu Shamalla, the BBC’s Arabic Service correspondent, rose.

Fayed, with signs of deep sorrow in his words, told IMEMC, “As far as kidnapping is concerned, we are really wondering as to how Allen, who has been staying here in Gaza for three years, trying to report accurately and fairly all events in the Gaza Strip, has been abducted?”.

Fellow Fayed, not only you raises such a question, but also every concerned body does!!!

Abu Shamalla confirmed, as many before him, including those linked with the Italian photo journalist, kidnapped early on January or the Fox News’ crew, that ‘no one has yet claimed responsibility for the kidnapping’!!!.

“ No one has phoned us to claim responsibility for the abduction”, Fayed confirmed.

Another different question was raised by a Hamas spokesperson in Gaza; why the kidnappers are rewarded by being allowed to be free in the country?.

Fawzi Barhoum, spokesman of Hamas in Gaza, spoke frankly to the IMEMC: “ every time there is a kidnapping , Hamas fully reports about the kidnappers’ identity, whereabouts and destination of hostages, yet we are surprised that the kidnappers are instead rewarded by being negotiated and allowed to be free in the country”.

One more question is left, who is the body that might benefit form kidnapping a foreign reporter in Gaza?.

According to the Jerusalem Post Israeli online edition last week, Palestinian sources believed that local reporters are involved in the abductions.

Such a belief was dismissed by local journalist Shuhdi Al-Kashef , chairman of journalists committee in Gaza.

Al-Kashef told reporters during a protest by journalists in Gaza Tuesday that his committee ‘condemns in the strongest terms’ such a kidnapping.

Not only had the journalists committee denounced the event, but also several bodies in Gaza including governmental and nongovernmental institutions, the latest of which was the State Information Service today. All Gaza is against the kidnapping!!!

Therefore, another question pops out; who has an interest in kidnapping a journalist???, a difficult question yet to be solved.

At any rate, Palestinians celebrated early this week their first-ever Palestinian unity government, which includes Hamas, Fatah and many other parliamentary factional blocs.

Platform of this government maintains that restoring order and stability to Gaza as well as reinforcing supremacy of law are top priorities.

Pardon readers, the last question remains; would this unity government, which has an overloaded agenda, domestically and internationally, be able to implement its platform, especially while this report is being prepared, one Fatah member was reportedly killed in renewed Hamas-Fatah clashes in northern Gaza.

Truly, a complicated situation, filled with a huge amount of responsibilities, is waiting the new Palestinian coalition government.

Last but not least, I am asking all of you just to hope that Johnston returns back home to England swiftly and safely, where he can save much of ‘critical times’ for his ‘family’.

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail