Angry Gazans mob French minister's car

21st January 2011, Comments 0 comments

A crowd of angry Palestinians protesters on Friday mobbed the car of French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie as she arrived in Gaza, an AFP correspondent said.

Carrying signs reading "Get out of Gaza" they stopped her car shortly after it passed through a Hamas checkpoint in the northern town of Beit Hanun, surrounding it and hammered on the sides with their fists.

Some demonstrators hurled shoes at the car and one jumped on top of it in a protest over a statement which was mistakenly attributed to the French minister when she met with the parents of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in Jerusalem a day earlier.

Following the meeting, Israeli radio posted a story on its Arabic-language website in which it quoted Alliot-Marie as saying that the European Union "must condemn the war crime that Hamas is comitting by keeping Gilad Shalit in captivity."

What she had actually said was that she would "pass on a message (to the EU) that the prisoner should receive Red Cross visits."

In response, the father Noam Shalit had asked her to press the European Union to "condemn as a war crime" the detention of their son.

The Israeli soldier was captured in 2006 by militants base in Gaza and has been held by them ever since.

He has not been seen by outside observers or Red Cross representatives since his capture in a deadly raid along the Gaza border by Palestinian militants in June 2006.

© 2011 AFP

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