French mayor defends honoring Palestinian murderer

By JTA
March 13, 2013 17:23

 
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A French mayor whose municipality recently honored the Palestinian murderer of an Israeli minister defended the move and accused critics of “hatred” and “complicity in occupation.”

Mayor Dominique Lesparre of the Paris suburb of Bezons said in a statement released on Wednesday that his municipality’s vote last month to name Majdi Al-Rimawi an honorary resident was part of a “tradition of peace, solidarity and cooperation with the Palestinian people.”

An Israeli court convicted Rimawi, a member of the terrorist organization Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, for the murder of Knesset member Rehavam Ze’evi in Jerusalem in 2001, along with three other shooters. Ze'evi was Israel's minister of tourism.

The decision to honor Rimawi, who is imprisoned in Israel, was made known in the city’s official newsletter in an article which said his only crime was to strive toward the establishment of a Palestinian state. The article did not mention the murder.

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