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Alan Johnston released

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BBC NEWS | World | Middle East | BBC's Gaza correspondent released

BBC Gaza reporter Johnston freed | Reuters

A huge relief for him and his family, and hopefully they're not too scarred by the ordeal. I just wonder what sort of deal. if any, the British and Israeli governments had to do with his captors in order to secure his release. If even one convicted or suspected terrorist has been released in exchange, it opens up a whole new can of worms and makes the region even more dangerous for those who want to go about life as normal.

My first suspicion is that this is just a PR exercise by Hamas, in order to drum up sympathy for their "plight" while deflecting attention from their more nefarious activities. Time will tell...

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My first suspicion is that this is just a PR exercise by Hamas, in order to drum up sympathy for their "plight"

What, their "plight" of being the democratically elected government of Palestine, which has been attacked by (western backed) fatah militants armed and trained abroad then put into gaza to stir up secterian violence because the yanks and the israelies don't like democracy that doesn't produce the results they want?

Hamas had been calling for alan johnstons release since day 1.

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because the yanks and the israelies don't like democracy that doesn't produce the results they want?

I don't know about you, but if my neighbours were led by a terrorist organisation who didn't recognise my right to exist I wouldn't be too chuffed either.

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do you think now alan johnston realises hes going to make an absolute fortune, maybe being held hostage wasn't so bad? honestly would you accept three months of hell for a life time of luxury? with newspaper/magazine/television/radio interviews and the inevitable book, chances are hes going to make a fortune.

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do you think now alan johnston realises hes going to make an absolute fortune, maybe being held hostage wasn't so bad? honestly would you accept three months of hell for a life time of luxury? with newspaper/magazine/television/radio interviews and the inevitable book, chances are hes going to make a fortune.

Yeah, I'd love for my family, friends and coworkers to be constantly worrying about me, wear a belt with explosives (allegedly), not see sunlight and be threatened with death for 1/3 of a year in exchange for a slightly easier life. Maybe I could go through hell for a whole year for even more money?

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You've got to admire the man's composure throughout his ordeal. When he was strapped up with the explosives pleading Hamas not to attack the area he was being held in he sounded, to me at least, like he was outside himself doing a correspondence piece on someone else's predicament.

I know for a fact that I couldn't do 3 months in solitary confinement.

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