Palestinian Prime Minister, Ismail Haniya, told reporters on Tuesday that his coalition government has been working silently on releasing the BBC reporter Alan Johnston.
Hniya’s remarks came following a meeting with a European delegation including British parliamentarians in Haniya’s Gaza office.
“ I have been personally authorized by the coalition to follow up this case and I hope that all efforts, aimed at releasing Johnston, will turn fruitful”, the Palestinian premier was quoted.
In a press briefing, Haniya voiced anger over the continued abduction of Johnston, confirming he has told the British parliamentarians, with whom he met today, that the freedom of the British reporter is his government’s full responsibility.
On another issue, the Palestinian PM revealed that Israel has so far rejected several Palestinian proposals with respect to possible prisoner swap for the release of corporal Gila’d Shalit, in return for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, out of 10,000 Israel still holds.
Shalit was captured in Gaza in last June by Palestinian groups linked to Hamas. His capture led to a fierce Israeli response last summer, as at least 500 Palestinians were killed and devastation was widespread.
Haniya also called upon his visitors to urge international players to deal equally with members of his coalition, which is comprised of Fatah and Hamas along with other parliamentary blocs.
The Palestinian top official stressed to the European legislators that the unity government reflects the choice of the Palestinian people
HJaniya also pressed for channeling international aid money through the Palestinian minister of finance, Salam Fayad, an independent cabinet member.
The Hamas-led government has been cash-strapped over the past 14 months due to an internationally-imposed economic embargo, aimed at committing the Palestinian elected government to formally recognize Israel, renounce violence and accept past signed agreements.
Hamas, since it has won the last January’s elections, has reiterated commitment not to recognize Israel or renounce an inch of Palestinian territories.
However, the now coalition government has announced respect of