Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon said Friday that a member of the French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie's entourage was hit in the head by Palestinian protesters during a visit to the Gaza Strip.
Her identity was not immediately available. The office of hospital spokeswoman Lea Malul sayid the delegate is being examined at the hospital.
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The protesters pelted her motorcade
with eggs and narrowly missed her with a lobbed shoe.
protesters, relatives of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons,
were angry about comments Michele Alliot-Marie reportedly made the day
before in support of kipnapped soldier Gilad Schalit.
Protesters were waiting for Alliot-Marie as she crossed from Israel into Gaza through the Erez Crossing, lying on the road and jumping on her vehicle. Hamas police eventually dispersed those protesters, but more gathered outside a United Nations office in Gaza City that was her first stop in the Palestinian territory, and later followed her to a nearby hospital, pelting her motorcade with eggs. AP Television footage showed Alliot-Marie narrowly dodging a shoe thrown by a protester as she climbed into a jeep under heavy guard.
Schalit, is an Israeli-French dual national and France has repeatedly called for his release.
Alliot-Marie made no public statement Thursday after meeting with Schalit's parents in Jerusalem, but the soldier's father, Noam Schalit, 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 Palestinians linked the comments to Alliot-Marie, although she did not say anything publicly before or after the meeting.
spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the statements reflected a "total bias
toward Israel" and ignored the thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli
prisons. "They are the true prisoners of war," he said.
demanding that Israel release hundreds of Hamas prisoners, including
militants behind deadly attacks against Israelis, in return for Schalit.
Talks facilitated by a German mediator have produced no result. Schalit
has been seen by no one but his captors since 2006. A videotape
released in 2009 showed him talking and reading a newspaper.
keeping with the policy of the European Union, which considers Hamas a
terror organization, Alliot-Marie did not meet with Hamas officials
during her half-day visit.
Speaking at a French cultural center
in Gaza, Alliot-Marie called for the establishment of a Palestinian
state and security for Israel. She also called on Israel to fully lift
all restrictions on goods and people coming and out of Gaza.
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