It is reported this morning that BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, situated in Gaza, and kidnapped 4 weeks ago, has been executed by a previously unknown Palestinian group. Read the report in Aljazeera here.
The reports of Johnston's death have not been verified. If Johnston has been killed - senseless and outrageous as that would be - then the repercussions are vast. Not only will the pr cause of the Palestinians be set back, but doubtlessly Western workers in Gaza and the West Bank - such as those employed by the UN giving aid to the people - will be tempted to leave. Additionally, reporters will be loath to stay in, or even enter, Gaza or the West Bank. The Palestinians will thereby lose a valuable source of information about their plight being reported to the outside world.