As you might be aware, we have had no word about the whereabouts of our correspondent in Gaza, Alan Johnston.
My colleague Simon Wilson and Fayed Abu Shamala are making a statement this lunchtime in English and Arabic, thanking those who are helping us find Alan, and asking for information about his disappearance. This is what they are saying:
- "The BBC continues to be concerned about the welfare of Alan Johnston. We have had no firm information about Alan since he left our bureau in Gaza on Monday afternoon.
- This is a difficult time for Alan’s friends and colleagues within the BBC – and especially for Alan’s family. They are being kept fully updated and have been very moved by the expressions of support for Alan that have come in from Gaza, the Middle East and around the world.
- We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone in Gaza for the help they have been able to offer us so far in trying to resolve the situation. In particular, I would like to thank the offices of President Abbas and of Prime Minister Haniyeh for their assistance at what has obviously been a busy time for them.
- Alan Johnston has dedicated the past three years to living and working among the people of Gaza so that their experiences can be reported fairly and accurately to the outside world.
- It is clear from the messages we have had that these efforts are valued enormously here in Gaza.
- We would therefore urge everyone with influence here to continue their efforts so that Alan may be reunited with his family and colleagues at the earliest opportunity."