So a senior "commander" of Hamas was released from jail this morning.
The wire services have apparently found plenty to celebrate about this occasion, covering his welcoming party as the touching story of a glowing reunion long wanted. Unexamined, of course, are questions of "Could it be remotely possible that someone described as being a commander in a group that has admittedly targeted civilians in the past might have actually belonged in prison?" and "Why exactly was he jailed?"
Because informing readers that he was the leader of a group that openly kidnaps and murders people is, like, hard 'n stuff.
Sheikh Hassan Yusef, 56, a commander of the Hamas Islamist movement, smiles as he receives visitors in his home in the West Bank city of Ramallah after being released from an Israeli prison, on August 4, 2011 as Israel is to free 770 Israeli and Palestinian prisoners, because of overcrowding, a prison services spokeswoman told AFP. AFP PHOTO/ABBAS MOMANI (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)
PS: I've only seen AFP/Getty on the wires at the moment -- I'll update this article with additional info once I find out how AP and Reuters are covering it, which I expect to be nearly identical to the above caption.
PPS: Yusef's defenders claim that he represented a "political" side of Hamas. Of course, in the article I linked above, the "political" side of Hamas openly admitted that they murdered an Israeli businessman after their initial plan to extort a release of terrorists from prison failed. Thus, it would seem that the notion that the "political" side of the group is somehow different than the "non-political" -- that is to say, violent -- side of the group is "somewhat" disingenuous.
Not that this is new for the pro-terrorist side of this particular debate.
Update: Reuters celebrates thusly:
Sheikh Hassan Yousef (C), a senior Hamas leader in the West Bank and a Palestinian Parliament member, is greeted by relatives on the day of his release from an Israeli prison after completing a six year sentence, at his house in the West Bank city of Ramallah August 4, 2011. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman (WEST BANK)
Mentions of Sasson Nuriel, who was killed in retribution for the unspeakable offense of arresting this terrorist-in-chief, are apparently too much to ask for of our one-sided press.