Abbas proposed armed force to free BBC reporter

Thursday, June 07, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said this week that he had proposed using military force to free an abducted BBC reporter in Gaza, but that the British government had opposed the idea, reported Ha'aretz.

Abbas was speaking to a group of British journalists who traveled to Gaza to seek a negotiated end to Alan Johnston's captivity. The long-time Gaza-based correspondent was snatched outside his Gaza City apartment in March by a Hamas-affiliated terror group.

By contrast, Abbas and the Palestinian Authority have sternly warned Israel against using force to free a hostage Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldier who has been held by terrorist in Gaza for nearly a year. Nor has Abbas offered to send in his own forces to rescue Corporal Gilad Shalit.

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