Hamas: Johnston's release a message to the world

The release of kidnapped British reporter Alan Johnston is a message to the world that Hamas is capable of maintaining security and stability in the Gaza Strip, a senior official of the militant Palestinian group said Wednesday. Moussa Abu Marzouk, deputy head of Hamas' political bureau, said it was one of Hamas' new responsibilities "to preserve security and stability for all residents of the Gaza Strip." Preserving security is "undoubtedly a message to the world that Hamas is a responsible group and to make a comparison between the killings and kidnapping that are happening in the West Bank and what Hamas is doing in Gaza to preserve the people's rights, security and stability," Abu Marzouk told The Associated Press by telephone in Damascus. He said Hamas had insisted on Johnston's release since he was captured.