Angry Palestinians mob French minister's car
Crowd of angry Palestinians tries to block Michele Alliot-Marie's passage through Erez Crossing over statement mistakenly attributed to her. Report quoted French FM as saying Hamas's keeping of Gilad Shalit was war crime, when in fact she endorsed Red Cross visits for captive soldier. Hamas police eventually disperse crowd
A crowd of furious Palestinian protesters have tried to block the French foreign minister on her way into the Gaza Strip, jumping on her vehicle and lying on the road.
Dozens of protesters surrounded Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie's convoy and tried to block her passage through the Erez Crossing from Israel on Friday. The protesters were relatives of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
Carrying signs reading "Get out of Gaza" they stopped her car shortly after it passed through a Hamas checkpoint in the northern town of Beit Hanun, surrounding it and hammered on the sides with their fists.
Some demonstrators hurled shoes at the car and one jumped on top of it in a protest over a statement which was mistakenly attributed to the French minister when she met with the parents of captive soldier Gilad Shalit in Jerusalem a day earlier.
French FM in Shalit protest tent (Photo: AP)
Following the meeting, Israeli radio posted a story on its Arabic-language website in which it quoted Alliot-Marie as saying that the European Union "must condemn the war crime that Hamas is comitting by keeping Gilad Shalit in captivity."
What she had actually said was that she would "pass on a message (to the EU) that the prisoner should receive Red Cross visits."
In response, the father Noam Shalit had asked her to press the European Union to "condemn as a war crime" the detention of their son.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said her comments reflected a "total bias toward Israel."
Hamas police eventually dispersed the protesters and allowed her through.
AFP contributed to this report
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