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France backs future P.A. government
France plans to back the future Palestinian unity government, President Jacques Chirac announced.
Following a meeting Saturday, Feb. 24, with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at Chirac's official residence, Chirac reconfirmed his support of the Mecca agreement and said it represents the first step toward fulfillment of the preconditions for international backing.
In the Mecca deal, Hamas agreed to "respect" peace agreements with Israel, but Hamas said it won't comply. — jta
Study: anti-Semitism up in France
Anti-Semitic incidents in France rose by 24 percent in 2006 over the previous year, according to a new study. The Service for the Protection of the Jewish Community's report cited 371 attacks in 2006, compared to 300 in 2005.
"We've seen an elevation of 45 percent in physical aggressions from 2005 to 2006 and a 71 percent elevation in verbal insults," the report said. However, the last third of 2006 showed a 21 percent decrease in anti-Semitic incidents, "which has continued through January 2007," said the report, which was carried out under the auspices of CRIF, an umbrella organization of secular French Jewish groups. — jta
Vandals attack Berlin kindergarten
Vandals sprayed neo-Nazi graffiti on a Jewish kindergarten in Berlin and attempted to set fire to the building.
Police reportedly are instituting round-the-clock protection at the site after discovering swastikas, SS runes and anti-Semitic slogans at the Chabad Or Avner kindergarten on Sunday, March 25.
The perpetrators also broke a window in the rear of the building and lobbed a smoke bomb inside that failed to detonate. The school was empty at the time of the attack. — jta
Seven on trial for burning Frank diary
Seven suspected neo-Nazis went on trial in Germany Monday, Feb. 26, charged with incitement and disturbing the peace of the dead for allegedly burning a copy of Anne Frank's diary during a celebration last year.
The men, aged from 24 to 29, are accused of holding a ceremony on June 24 during which they praised the Nazis and denied the Holocaust.
The indictment accuses Lars Konrad, 25, of throwing the book into the fire in front of numerous spectators and the other six men of standing nearby. The seven men also are accused of using neo-Nazi and Nazi language to ridicule Anne Frank and all the victims of Nazi concentration camps. Holocaust denial is a crime in Germany. — jta
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