Alan Johnston, the BBC reporter held by an Islamist faction in Gaza for 114 days, was released early today, saying it was "fantastic" to be free. The reporter was handed over to officials of Hamas, now in control of the Gaza Strip, by his captors, a militant splinter group called the Army of Islam.
Johnston appeared with Hamas leader Ismail Haniya, who was removed as prime minister of the Palestinian Authority after the Hamas takeover of Gaza two weeks ago. Hamas lobbied for Johnston's release to prove its intention to provide "security and stability" in Gaza. Johnston is now at the British consulate in Jerusalem.