Report: Hamas releases Italians suspected of being IDF soldiers

Hamas demands four Italian nationals carrying automatic weapons be handed over to it after the four refused to comply with roadblock.

January 16, 2019 07:49
Report: Hamas releases Italians suspected of being IDF soldiers

Hamas members in Gaza . (photo credit: REUTERS)


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Hamas released four Italian civilians who had been held for 24 hours after Hamas fighters suspected them of being IDF soldiers, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

The Italians were part of a diplomatic team who arrived in Gaza for advance security preparations before a visit to the Gaza Strip by the Italian ambassador to Israel.

On Monday, the four Italians drove through a Hamas roadblock. Hamas forces pursued the vehicle and demand they hand over their automatic rifles.

Despite UNWRA's confirmation of their Italian citizenship, Hamas reportedly suspected they were Israelis using Italian passports.

Hamas forces surrounded an UNRWA building in Gaza where the four Italians had sought refuge.

Yasser Okbi/Maariv contributed to this report.

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