Abbas on the Holocaust: Berlin police investigating “incitement to hatred”

Abbas on the Holocaust: Berlin police investigating “incitement to hatred”

President Mahmoud Abbas unleashed a wave of outrage, particularly in Israel and Germany, after comparing the situation in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories to the Holocaust.

The Berlin police announced on Friday that they would open an investigation on suspicion of “incitement to hatred” against the President of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, after his controversial statements on the Holocaust in Berlin.

Police have received a complaint against Mahmoud Abbas for “relativizing the Holocaust” after he spoke at a joint press conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Tuesday.

A wave of outrage

A police spokeswoman for the AFP news agency confirmed that the specialist officer of the State Criminal Investigation Department immediately initiated investigations that he wanted to “soon” inform the public prosecutor’s office, who would then decide on a follow-up. Asked about the attack 50 years ago during the 1972 Munich Olympics, which killed 11 Israelis and was carried out by a Palestinian commando, Mahmoud Abbas compared the situation in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories to the Holocaust.

“From 1947 to today, Israel has committed 50 massacres in 50 Palestinian cities (…), 50 massacres, 50 holocausts and even today the Israeli army kills people every day,” he explained, triggering a wave of outrage above all in Israel and Germany. However, the investigation could be dropped if Mahmoud Abbas is protected by diplomatic immunity. The Foreign Office thinks this is likely as he was in Germany on an official visit, but criminal lawyer Michael Kubiciel, quoted in the daily Bild, is more doubtful.

Mahmoud Abbas can only enjoy immunity as a “representative of another state”, so it is of “very great importance” whether Palestine can be considered a state or not, according to the expert. More than 130 countries recognize Palestine as a state, but not Germany like most western countries. However, Berlin has established diplomatic relations with the occupied territories.

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