French town honors Palestinian convict, raises ire

AP News
Posted: Mar 11, 2013 8:02 AM

PARIS (AP) — A French mayor has angered Israel by granting honorary citizenship to a Palestinian convicted in the killing of an Israeli government minister.

The Paris suburb of Bezons last month honored Majdi al-Rimawi, who was sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2001 murder of tourism minister Rehavam Zeevi. Zeevi had advocated the ouster of all Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

The Bezons monthly newsletter cites leftist Mayor Dominique Lesparre as saying honoring Rimawi was a "strong political act" related to the "colonization of the Palestinian people." It doesn't mention the killing.

Bezons and Rimawi's hometown have been sister cities since 2008.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor on Monday called it "humanly outrageous to honor a convicted murderer, no political view can justify it."