PLO official: Johnston conference 'ridiculous'

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a top PLO official closely associated with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, on Wednesday called the morning's press conference in which Hamas paraded released BBC reporter Alan Johnston a "ridiculous display." He said Hamas had no other way of trying to portray itself as a responsible organization. Rabbo said Johnston's release had no value in the eyes of the international community because "everyone knows the Army of Islam is allied with Hamas." Voice of Palestine Radio also condemned Hamas, saying the group had itself kidnapped Johnson and brought about his release in order to improve its image.