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France - Middle East

French judge issues arrest warrants over 1982 Palestinian attack on Paris Jewish restaurant

The scene after tha attack in the rue des Rosiers in 1982
The scene after tha attack in the rue des Rosiers in 1982 AFP

A French anti-terror judge has issued international arrest warrants for three suspects in France’s most deadly anti-Semitic attack since World War II 32 years acter the event. The move comes less than two months after the murder and hostage-taking in a Paris kosher supermarket that followed the Charlie Hebdo attack.


Judge Marc Trévidic issued warrants on 20 February for three alleged members of the Fatah-Revolutionary Council group (Fatah-RC), a breakaway from Yasser Arafat’s Palestine Liberation Organisation led by Abou Nidal, who died in mysterious circumstances in 2002.

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Fatah-RC has long been held responsible for the attack, in which a commando threw a grenade into the famous Jo Goldenberg restaurant in rue des Rosiers, a long-time Jewish area of Paris, and then went inside and opened fire on the roughly 50 customers.

They then ran down the street, firing at passers-by, leaving six people dead in total and 22 wounded.

RTL radio and Paris-Match magazine revealed this week that the warrants have been issued, based on a years-long inquiry by the DGSI secret services.

The three suspects are:

  • Mahmoud Khader Abed Adra, alias "Hicham Harb", 59, who now lives in Ramallah on the West Bank;
  • Walid Abdulrahman Abou Zayed, alias "Souhail Othman", 56, who lives in Oslo, Norway;
  • Souhair Mouhamad Hassan Khalid al-Abassi, alias "Amjar Atta", 62, who now lives in Jordan.

The first two are accused of taking part of the attacks, while al-Abassi is believed to have supervised it.

The warrants send “a strong message to all terrorists”, commented Alain Jakobowitz of the League Against Racism and Anti-Semitism (Licra).

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