Hamas frees 3 Italians suspected of being Israeli agents

The terror group released three Italian policemen originally suspected of belonging to the Israeli military.

By World Israel News Staff

Three Italian policemen, suspected of being part of an Israeli undercover unit, were released Tuesday night after being held by Hamas for 24 hours.

The men, part of a diplomatic team that arrived in Gaza for security preparations ahead of a visit to the Gaza Strip by Italian Ambassador to Israel Gianluigi Benedetti, reportedly drove through a checkpoint, prompting Hamas forces to give chase.

The men took refuge in the United Nations office in Gaza. Hamas cordoned off the building and questioned the suspects, after which they were satisfied that the three were indeed Italian citizens and not Israelis.

“Investigations enabled us to ascertain the identity of the three Italians as well as the security of the procedures for their entrance into Gaza,” Hamas’s interior minister said, according to the ANSAmed news agency.

Since a botched IDF secret reconnaissance operation on the outskirts of Khan Younis in November, Hamas forces have been particularly vigilant.

An IDF soldier and six Hamas fighters, including a senior officer, were killed in a shootout that the terror group has been touting as a success.

“The IDF attempted to plant listening devices [in Gaza], but the Palestinian resistance stood guard,” al-Haya, a member of Hamas’ political bureau,  stated in an interview with Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV at the time.