Freed journalist Johnston leaves Gaza for home

Other News Materials 7 July 2007 14:57 (UTC +04:00)

( AFP ) - BBC journalist Alan Johnston, freed earlier this week in Gaza after 114 days as hostage of a radical Palestinian group, left Israel for London on Saturday, witnesses said.

Johnston, 45, flew out of Ben Gurion airport in a departure marked by a complete lack of publicity to avoid excess media attention.

The journalist, who had worked in the territory since 2004, was kidnapped on his way home in Gaza by a group called the Army of Islam on March 12.

He was freed last Wednesday following intense pressure by the Islamist Hamas movement which took total control of the Gaza on June 15, ousting supporters of the rival Fatah movement.

Johnston's kidnappers had threatened to kill him if Britain and Jordan did not release detained Islamists.