(photo credit: Associated Press)
Palestinians of Gaza and Israelis who live near the territory are being
held hostage by Hamas, said Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini during a visit to Sderot on Wednesday.
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Frattini added that the Islamists are holding Gazans hostage, along with the Israelis who absorb the group's rocket attacks.
He said, "You unfortunately are victims because of this extremist entity
that is taking hostages its own people and attacking you."
Frattini said Gaza business people want peace, because it would promote
economic growth. But he warned that first, the Palestinian Authority
must reconcile with Hamas in order to "liberate" Gaza from the
In an interview with Channel 10 broadcast on Wednesday evening, the Italian foreign minister said that there should be an agreement on expanding the building moratorium,
"because the Israeli government wants peace."
He also addressed the Iranian threat, saying that the entire world is at
risk, and that "what is necessary now is to stick to sanctions."