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Mideast protest at Jospin's home

It is not known if Jospin was at home during the protest
It is not known if Jospin was at home during the protest  

PARIS, France -- A group of pro-Palestinian supporters have been arrested after holding a loud protest outside the home of French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin.

The 15 demonstrators used firecrackers and bull horns at 6:15 a.m. (0414 GMT) on Sunday in a bid to "wake up" the government about the situation in the Middles East.

Those detained were being questioned, police said.

Pro-Palestinian demonstrations were held in a number of cities around France on Saturday, drawing hundreds of participants.

President Jacques Chirac reaffirmed in an interview published on Sunday the need to restart dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians to end the "human tragedy."

In the interview in the newspaper Progres, the president called for an immediate withdrawal of Israeli forces from Palestinian towns and an immediate cease-fire "which presupposes the immediate cessation of terrorist acts."

France facing anti-Semitic attacks 
Pro-Palestinian marches across France 

The arrests came as police investigated the latest in a wave of anti-Semitic attacks that have flared in France up since Israel launched its military offensive in the West Bank.

France's 600,000-strong Jewish community -- the largest in western Europe -- has been the target of hundreds of anti-Semitic attacks since increased violence broke out in the Middle East in 2000.

In the latest incident, vandals defaced a Jewish cemetery in Strasbourg.

Swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans were daubed in paint on about 20 tombstones and on a wall, police said on Saturday.

An inquiry has been launched into the desecration, the fourth at a Jewish site in the Cronenbourg section of Strasbourg this month.


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