07:36 GMT +321 October 2018
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    Dominique Lesparre

    French Mayor Forced to Remove Pro-Palestinian Street Sign Amid Jewish Backlash

    © Photo: Facebook / Dominique Lesparre
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    The mayor of a Paris suburb has come under fire for renaming a street in honor of the thousands of Palestinians who were forced to abandon their homes following the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948.

    Faced with strong pressure from Jewish groups and Tel Aviv, Dominique Lesparre, the Communist mayor of Bezons, has been forced to remove the Nakba Lane plaque from a street that was renamed to commemorate Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, which Palestinians annually mark on May 15.

    On Monday, Lesparre officially renamed a street near city hall "Allee de la Nakba" (Nakba Lane) in remembrance of more than 760,000 Palestinians who fled or were evicted from their homeland by Israeli forces 70 years ago.

    The street sign, written in French and Arabic, read: "In memory of the expulsion of 800,000 Palestinians and the destruction of 532 villages in 1948 by the war criminal David Ben Gurion for the creation of the state of Israel," referring to the first prime minister of the Jewish State.

    In a statement, Israel's Ambassador to France Aliza Bin-Noun accused the mayor of supporting "Palestinian terrorism and inciting hate."

    It was not the first time that Bezons has stirred controversy with its support of the Palestinian cause.

    ​In 2014, the town was ordered to remove a commemorative plaque for Majdi al-Rimawi, a Palestinian, serving an 80-year prison term for killing an Israeli government minister at a Jerusalem hotel in 2001.

    France has seen a string of attacks on Jews in recent years, regarded as a sign of virulent anti-Semitism among members of some of the country’s neighborhoods with predominantly Muslim populations.

    READ MORE: Riots Break Out in Palestinian City of Ramallah Amid 70th Anniversary of Nakba

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    removal, Nakba Day, street sign, mayor, Dominique Lesparre, France
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