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Middle East

Netanyahu to visit Paris on 16 July

media Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu ReutersAbir Sultan

Israeli Prime Minister is to visit Paris on 16 July - his first visit to France since the election of President Emmanuel Macron - to mark the 75th anniversary of a roundup of thousands of Jews under the World War II German occupation.

Netanyahu and Macron will hold a working meeting, the French presidential palace said when announcing the visit.

The Israeli prime minister will also attend the commemoration of the Vél d'Hiv operation, during which 7,000 French police and French far-right activists, working under German direction, rounded up 13,152 men, women and children, confining them in the Vélodrome d'Hiver cycle track.

They were kept there under inhuman conditions with almost no food or water or proper sanitation for four days before being sent to Auschwitz and other camps.

Only about a 100 survived, none of them children.

A total of 42,000 Jews were sent to Auschwitz from France during World War II.

Netanyahu last visited Paris in January 2015 to take part in the demonstration that followed the Charlie Hebdo massacre.

He was invited to attend an international conference on the Middle East in January 2015 but refused to do so, denouncing it as "rigged".

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