It’s been labeled a "P.R. get", a "Media coup", and "an engineered photo-op" by the Canadian media.
Although Hamas did indeed secure the release of the BBC’s Alan Johnston, this fact alone should not generate any favour in the eyes of the media or the international community. As the Montreal Gazette rightly pointed out in a staff editorial today:
"BBC reporter Alan Johnston, kidnapped by Palestinian thugs and held for 114 days, was released early yesterday. The jubilation among his relatives, friends, countrymen, colleagues and all the rest of the world is fully understandable.
But the rejoicing must be tempered by an understanding of why Hamas, the violent fundamentalist movement which now controls Gaza, engineered Johnston’s return.
But Hamas remains what it has always been: ruthlessly determined to deny the legitimacy of Israel, and always willing to use force. Hamas might manage to make Gaza safer, but it is making the region more dangerous.?