Sat, Mar 17, 2007 at 3:21:20 pm
The BBC’s Alan Johnston, kidnapped in Gaza a couple of days ago and still unreleased, has a piece from January 2006 about the jolly kidnappers of Gaza, who are just hospitable guys with too much time on their hands now that it’s harder to kill Jews: Alan Johnston on the front line.
In Iraq an abduction can end in the most brutal murder. But fortunately Gaza is not Iraq, nothing like it. So far, all the foreigners kidnapped here have been freed quite quickly and unharmed. Often they have been used as bargaining chips, a way for a group of gunmen to get attention.
Gaza is awash with bands of militants: the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, the Jenin Brigade, the Abu Ali Mustafa Brigade and so on.
They used to attack the occupying Israeli troops and settlers. But the settlements were abandoned in the autumn when the army pulled out, and now the boys from the Brigades find themselves with time on their hands.
They want proper jobs in this poverty-stricken place, and usually they want to be allowed to join the security services. It is ironic really.