Families of jailed Palestinians mobbed French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie during a visit to the Gaza Strip on Friday.
They were angered by comments attributed to Alliot-Marie on the case of the kidnapped French-Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who was snatched by Hamas militants in 2006.
Shalit, the captive soldier, is an Israeli-French dual national and France has repeatedly called for his release.
Alliot-Marie made no public statement on Thursday after meeting with Shalit’s parents in Jerusalem, but the soldier’s father, Noam Shalit, said afterward that the minister had called on Hamas to allow the Red Cross to visit his son for the first time. He referred to his son’s capture as a “war crime.”
The French foreign minister was later quoted by some media as saying that the European Union “must condemn the war crime that Hamas is committing by keeping Gilad Shalit in captivity.”
The protesters told Alliot-Marie to “get out of Gaza” and demanded to know why she had not raised the issue of the thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
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