Israel, Palestinians are Hamas hostage: Italian FM

Franco Frattini urged Palestinian Authority to reconcile with Hamas.

Last Updated: Nov 25, 2010, 11:28 AM IST

Sderot: Italy`s foreign minister says both the Palestinians of Gaza and Israelis who live near the territory are being held hostage by Hamas.

Franco Frattini spoke on Wednesday in Sderot, a rocket-battered Israeli town just outside Gaza, after touring the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory.

Frattini said the Islamic militants are holding Gazans hostage, along with Israelis who absorb the militants` 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 Western-backed Palestinian Authority must reconcile with Hamas in order to "liberate" Gaza from the Islamists.

PTI