Netanyahu to mark 75th anniversary of roundup of French Jews

Netanyahu to visit Paris for the 75th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup.

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Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu
Marc Israel Sellem/POOL

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will visit Paris on July 16 for the 75th anniversary of the Vel d'Hiv roundup, where more than 13,000 Jews were arrested and sent to extermination camps.

"On this occasion, there will be a working meeting" between French President Emmanuel Macron and Netanyahu, the French presidency said of the visit, the first by Netanyahyu since Macron's election.

The Velodrome d'Hiver was an indoor cycle track not far from the Eiffel Tower.

On July 16 and 17, 1942, authorities in occupied France rounded up in a Nazi-directed raid a total of 13,152 men, women and children in the Vel d'Hiv.

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 of those rounded up at Vel d'Hiv survived.

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

During the recent presidential election campaign in France, far-right leader Marine Le Pen said she did not "think France is responsible for the Vel d'Hiv".

The Israeli government condemned her remark as "contrary to the historical truth, which has been expressed by French presidents who have recognized the country's responsibility for the fate of French Jews who died in the Holocaust."

President Reuven Rivlin criticized Le Pen as well, warning that she was promoting a new, dangerous form of Holocaust denial disregarding European responsibility for the World War II murder of Jews.

AFP contributed to this report.