Italians Mistaken for Israelis Held in Gaza, Then Released

YERUSHALAYIM -

A tense situation in Gaza ended peacefully on Wednesday after Hamas released four Italian nationals who had been mistaken for Israeli agents.

The Italians were security personnel serving with a diplomatic team who arrived in the Hamas-run enclave to make preparations for a visit by the Italian ambassador to Israel.

On Monday, the four Italians drove through a Hamas roadblock. Hamas forces pursued their vehicle, which sought asylum in an UNRWA building.

Hamas then surrounded the building, where the group stayed for 24 hours pending confirmation of their identities as Italians and not Israelis.

That done, they let them go on Wednesday.