Paris defends Ben Gurion site



PARIS - The city of Paris Wednesday defended plans to inaugurate a site honouring Israel's first prime minister after criticism it had not done likewise for the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The project aims to honour Israeli statesman David Ben Gurion and "in no way marks an adherence to the current policy of the Israel government", Paris city hall said in a statement.



A Palestinian worker prays at the construction site in the Givat Zeev Israeli settlement in the West Bank
A Palestinian worker prays at the construction site in the Givat Zeev Israeli settlement in the West Bank
"Paris city hall has always affirmed its attachment to both the peoples of Israel and of Palestine, and systematically supports all initiatives dedicated to dialogue and peace," it said, in response to criticism from France's Communist Party.
The critique comes as France joined other Western nations in roundly condemning Israel for its decision to build 1,600 housing units for Jewish settlers in annexed Arab east Jerusalem.
The Communist party said plans to inaugurate a Ben Gurion promenade abutting the Seine River suggested the city endorsed Israeli policies, and noted there was no site honouring Arafat, who died in France in 2004.
But city hall noted Communist council members had been among those voting for the plan.
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Thursday, March 11th 2010
AFP
           


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