This picture is all over the media this morning. I find it rather sickening. The subtext of the pic is that Haniyeh sort of personally rescued Alan Johnston. And I doubt that. I can't tell the group that abducted the BBC reporter from any Hamas cell, but that is hard to dissect from here anyway. Nevertheless, even if we suppose Haniyeh has nothing to do with it and was in some way instrumental in Alan's release, the big smiles are just too sweet for my taste. It looks like a politician stealing a picture with a sports champion on all accounts.
On a side note, Fatah is not so happy with the media swirl Haniyeh makes here either.
Yasser Abd Rabbo said Wednesday that Hamas' release of the Briton, held in Gaza for nearly four months, from the custody of militant group Army of Islam, had been staged, as the two groups were in league with each other. He said Hamas staged the rescue in order to "appear as if [Hamas] respects international law."
"We're watching a movie, where the thieves in Gaza fall out and one of them claims to be honest and brave, and the other is the bad guy. This Hamas game fools no one," Rabbo said.
Sour grapes from Abbas? The pot and the kettle? Well, Haniyeh certainly shows being savvy at showing himself to the international public. Where is Joris Luyendijk who said the Palestinians were no good at that?