Macron condemns ‘unacceptable blackmail’ by Hamas over Gaza hostages


French president Emmanuel Macron denounced Hamas’s threats to execute some of the around 150 hostages it abducted in a weekend assault. (AP pic)
HAMBURG: French president Emmanuel Macron today denounced “unacceptable blackmail” by Hamas after the Palestinian militant group threatened to execute some of the around 150 hostages it abducted in a weekend assault.
“The blackmail by Hamas after its terrorist acts is odious and unacceptable,” Macron told reporters on a visit to Germany.
The French president added that he considered it “likely” that Hamas had received outside “help” in its attack against Israel.
But he stressed there was “no formal trace” of any “direct involvement” by Iran, at a joint news conference with German chancellor Olaf Scholz.
Scholz said Berlin was working “intensively” with Israel to learn the fate of German nationals among the hostages, “how many people it is and what we can do to secure their freedom”.
Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier today denied any Iranian involvement in Hamas’ shock weekend attack on Israel despite its strong support for the Palestinian militant group.
Hamas said yesterday that Israeli air strikes had killed four of its hostages, and later warned it could start killing them itself.
“Every targeting of our people without warning will be met with the execution of one of the civilian hostages,” said the Hamas armed wing, the Ezzedeen Al-Qassam Brigades.

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