Berlin police investigate Abbas for incitement to hatred over ‘holocausts’ comments

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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas gesticulates during a joint press conference with the German Chancellor at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, on August 16, 2022. (Photo by JENS SCHLUETER / AFP)

Berlin police have opened a preliminary investigation against Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over his comments this week that Israel had committed “50 holocausts” against Palestinians.

The remarks, during a news conference in Berlin alongside German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, sparked outrage in Germany, Israel and beyond.

Police confirmed a report Friday by German daily Bild that Abbas was being investigated for possible incitement to hatred after receiving a formal criminal complaint. Downplaying the Holocaust is a criminal offense in Germany, but the opening of a preliminary inquiry doesn’t automatically entail a full investigation.

“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.” Matthew 24:9

(German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas leave after a press conference at the Chancellery in Berlin)

“Keeping alive the memory of the civilizational rupture of the Shoah is an everlasting responsibility of this and every German government,” said Scholz, according to Berlin’s readout of the conversation.