Pontoise, France: French Jewish groups and Israeli regime officials protested Tuesday after the mayor of a Paris suburb renamed a street to honour the thousands of Palestinians forced from their homes during Israel’s creation in 1948.
Dominique Lesparre, the Communist mayor of Bezons, on Monday officially renamed a street near city hall “Allee de la Nakba” (Nakba Lane) to commemorate the Nakba, or “catastrophe”, when more than 760,000 Palestinians were expelled by Israeli regime forces or fled 70 years ago.
Plaques 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 country’s first prime minister.
Police sources told AFP the plaques had been covered with graffiti by Tuesday morning.
The city later removed the plaques after a request by the top central government official for the Val-d’Oise region, who said they could “seriously disrupt public order”.
It was not the first time Bezons has courted “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 sentenced to 80 years in prison for the 2001 killing of an Israeli government minister at an occupied Jerusalem hotel.