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Wednesday, June 27 2007

BBC Employs Hamas Operative

Israel allowed an unidentified BBC employee -- who is also a member of Hamas -- to enter Gaza to secure (unsuccessfully as it turned out) Alan Johnston's release. The Jerusalem Post reports:

Defense officials told The Jerusalem Post that a week ago, a request came from the BBC asking that a Palestinian employee of the news company who is believed to be a close associate of senior Hamas officials be allowed to enter Gaza.

The employee, who lives in Gaza, had traveled to Egypt with his wife for medical reasons and the BBC told Israeli officials that they believed he could assist in negotiating Johnston's release.

The Shin Bet objected to the BBC request, saying that the employee was actually a member of Hamas, and perhaps even a terrorist operative....

The Palestinian entered Gaza, and after a few days informed his BBC employers that Johnston was not being held by Hamas and therefore the group had little influence over his captors, believed to be from the Army of Islam and members of the Durmush clan from the Rafah area in the southern Gaza Strip.

Since when is the BBC employing a known member of Hamas? Any others, like Fayad Abu Shamala, we should know about?



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The BBC is not above reproach but one can understand that it is desperate to get its reporter back. When it comes to anti-Israel media networks, there are plenty of glaring offenders. One of them is TV3, Catalonia's public service broadcaster (potential audience: 10 million in northeastern Spain). The network produced a half-hour documentary that was a glowing tribute to Al-Jazeera. Its reporters regularly take a tough anti-Israeli (and anti-American) stance when covering Mid-East news.

Those who would like to set the record straight might like to contribute to the Wikipedia entry on the network. Previous edits of the entry revealed the kind of political manipulation rife in the public corporation.

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