The Paris suburb of Aubervilliers has made jailed Palestinian terrorist leader Marwan Barghouti, who is serving several life sentences in an Israeli prison for murder, an honorary citizen of the city.
In a statement, the Aubervilliers city council said Barghouti “symbolizes the Palestinian cause” and is a “man of peace and dialogue.”
In a letter to Aubervilliers Mayor Pascal Beaudet, Roger Cukierman-president of CRIF, an umbrella group representing the French Jewish community-said he is “shocked” by the decision, noting that Barghouti is a convicted terrorist serving several life sentences.
“Your resolution fails to mention that the Palestinian terrorist was indicted by a civil court for murder and attempted murder in a terrorist organization under his command. He was sentenced May 20, 2004 to five life imprisonment sentences for five murders and 40 years for attempted murder by a suicide bomber,” Cukierman wrote.
Located in the northeastern suburbs of Paris, Aubervilliers is home to a large immigrant population, comprising more than 41 percent of the city’s population, mainly from North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.
The move by Aubervilliers came as a French court ordered the city of Bezons, a northwestern suburb of Paris, to cancel the decision to give the honorary citizen designation to another Palestinian terrorist, Majdi Rahima al-Rimawi, who assassinated Israeli tourism minister Rehavam Ze’evi in 2001.