GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Gaza’s Hamas rulers on Thursday released a British journalist they had held for a month amid allegations that he endangered the Palestinian territory’s security.Now we can guess why Martin was taken hostage! And those tunnels are a conduit for weaponry. Not that the AP Wire would want to admit that. It remains to be seen, however, if Martin is willing or will be allowed to write about all these cases.
Paul Martin said he was arrested because of his work as a journalist and called his release, with the help of the British and South African governments, a "great victory for the freedom of the media."
Mahmoud Zahar, a Hamas leader, said Martin was suspected of serious security offenses and would not be able to return to Gaza. No charges were filed against him.
Zahar suggested Thursday that Martin’s activities as a journalist brought about his arrest.
The Hamas leader alleged Thursday that Martin "was working on defaming the image of the Palestinian people by saying that they smuggle weapons through tunnels," Zahar said, referring to hundreds of border tunnels that bypass the blockade of Gaza imposed by Israel and Egypt.
The tunnels bring in commercial goods, but are widely believed to be a conduit for cash and weapons as well.
Zahar complained that Martin was also working on a story about the alleged use of civilians as human shields by Hamas.
The Hamas leader also alleged Martin was in touch with Gazans suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
HAMAS RELEASES BRITISH JOURNALIST THEY HELD FOR A MONTH
Paul Martin, the freelance reporter from Britain who was taken prisoner by Hamas, has been released after a month:
Posted by Avi Green at 4:19 PM