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France acquits activists over Israel boycott call

A court in Perpignan, south-western France on Wednesday found three pro-Palestinian activists not guilty of discrimination and hate crimes, after they called for a boycott of Israeli products during a protest at a shopping centre.

France acquits activists over Israel boycott call
Pro-Palestinian activists, not including those acquitted on August 14th, call for a boycott of Israeli products in Paris in 2010. Photo: Patrick Kovarik/AFP

The court in Perpignan upheld a recommendation from prosecutors that the three be found not guilty for the boycott call, made during a protest at a shopping centre in the southern city in 2010.

The activists were charged following a complaint from the BNVCA anti-Semitism group, which launched a series of legal actions against activists calling for boycotts of items produced in areas annexed by Israel following the Six Day War of 1967.

Prosecutors had said there was no evidence the boycott call by Jeanne Rousseau, Yamina Tatjeur, and Bernard Cholet  was an incitement to hatred or violence.

"This is a recognition of our fight for peace and justice," Tatjeur told AFP after the ruling.

Wednesday's acquittal is not the first occasion in recent months that a French court has ruled in favour of pro-Palestinian activists.

In April, The Local reported how Air France was forced to pay €100,000 in damages for discriminating against a pro-Palestinian activist.

Horia Ankour had been attempting to travel to Israel to take part in the "Welcome to Palestine" campaign, which saw hundreds of activists seek access to Israel in a bid to travel to the Palestinian territories.

The nursing student  was ejected from a plane in Nice, southern France, which was destined for Tel Aviv, after an Air France employee asked if she was Jewish, and she replied "no."

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ISRAEL

French sailor found after weeks adrift: Israeli army

A French sailor lost in the Mediterranean for weeks has been rescued by the Israeli military off the Gaza coast, the army said Friday.

French sailor found after weeks adrift: Israeli army
A file photo taken from the coast of Gaza. Photo: AFP

The man was recovered Thursday night drifting in a boat with a broken radio and no steering system near the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian enclave bordering Israel and Egypt, the army said on Twitter.

“Our soldiers came across his boat near the Gaza Strip, rescued him, and took him for medical treatment,” the tweet said.

An army spokeswoman described the man as a fisherman travelling from Egypt towards Gaza. She said he was injured in the leg.

The tweet included a photo of a smiling man with greying hair wearing a sea jacket and hat and surrounded by soldiers aboard what appears to be an Israeli boat.

There were no further details on the circumstances of the rescue or the man's identity.

The French embassy in Tel Aviv said it had received information about the incident from the Israeli army, but did not have more any more details.

READ ALSO: Israel frees French-Palestinian after 13 months without trial

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