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Hostages safe but tensions high in the Middle East

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Hostages safe but tensions high in the Middle East


Three foreigners held hostage in the Gaza Strip have been released.

The journalists – two French and one South Korean – were the last of a group of nine captives to be freed. Militants had snatched them in response to an Israeli raid on the Palestinian prison in Jericho. The operation to seize militant leader Ahmad Saadat made considerable waves in Middle East politics. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, seeing the remains of the jail for himself, said it was a “dreadful crime” that “humiliated his people”. Palestinians responded with a general strike and widespread protests. The EU has condemned the attacks on European offices that followed the raid. In Israel, security is high amid fears of revenge attacks. Saadat is expected to be put on trial for the killing of an Israeli minister in 2001.
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