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French Jewish Activists Protest at Lebanese Embassy over Hostages

Seven Jewish activists chained themselves to the gates of the Lebanese Embassy here Wednesday, to publicize the fate of seven missing Lebanese Jews.

The blindfolded protesters each wore a sign with the name of a kidnap victim and the date of the crime.

Between 1984 and 1986, 11 Jews were kidnapped in Lebanon. Responsibility was claimed by a group calling itself the Organization of the Oppressed of the Earth. The group later claimed they had killed nine of the captives, but only four bodies have been recovered.

The seven militants remained chained for about one hour, while a delegation handed a petition to an embassy official. The delegation was led by Roger Pinto, chairman of CRIF’s Committee for the Jewish Communities in Danger. CRIF is the central body of French Jewry.

“I was scandalized when people said that the liberation of the two German hostages had put an end to the chapter of the abductions in Lebanon,” Pinto told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “No one seems to care about the seven Jews still missing.

“The U.N. secretary-general was indifferent to my requests, the International Red Cross didn’t bother to answer my letters, the ambassador of Lebanon in Paris said he couldn’t receive me because this problem was not of his competence. Finally, we gave the petition to an embassy officer who told me he was ‘sorry but we are not responsible’ ” Pinto said.

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