Palestinian deputy-prime minister, Azzam Al-Ahmad, told reporters in Ramallah on Monday that the Palestinian government has rejected demands by kidnappers of BBC reporter Alan Johnston, who was abducted at a gunpoint in Gaza in March12.

Al-Ahmad said that the abductors of Johnston have contacted the government today morning for the first time since Johnston has been in captivity.

The Palestinian official did not explain either the demands or the identity of the kidnappers, yet he confirmed that the ‘Hamas-led’ government has rejected the demands.

A previously unknown group, calling itself the Jihad and Tawhid “Struggle and Monotheism”, had announced earlier this month it had executed Johnston.

No independent body verified these reports. Johnston, a veteran BBC reporter, has stayed in Gaza for three years, covering events in the coastal region.

Several protests in Gaza, the West Bank and London, have been organized in protest of Johnston’s kidnapping, which is considered to be the longest, a foreign journalist or worker endures over the past three years.

15 foreign journalists and workers have been reportedly abducted and released unharmed shortly in Gaza, throughout the past three years, according to human rights groups.