Italy says 'unacceptable' to put Israel, Hamas on same level

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Italy's foreign minister said on Tuesday it was "unacceptable" and "absurd" to compare Israel and Hamas after the International Criminal Court's prosecutor applied for arrest warrants for leaders on both sides.

"It is completely unacceptable that Hamas and Israel are put on the same level -- the leaders of the terrorist group that started the war in Gaza by massacring innocent citizens and the leaders of the government elected by the people of Israel," Antonio Tajani said in an interview with the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

The minister, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the G7 this year, described the parallel as "absurd", adding: "In no way can one even imagine such an equivalence.

"Be careful not to legitimise anti-Israeli positions that can fuel anti-Semitic phenomena."