German police investigate Palestinian leader over ‘50 holocausts’ remark

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Berlin police have opened a preliminary investigation into comments made by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that downplayed the Holocaust.

A Berlin citizen whose grandparents were Holocaust survivors filed a complaint against Abbas, who said that Israel had inflicted “50 holocausts” on Palestine since 1947.

Berlin police confirmed Friday that the complaint is being investigated and said it will be forwarded to the public prosecutor “soon.”

Holocaust denial, as well as downplaying its significance, are criminal offenses and can result in a prison term of up to five years, according to German law.

Abbas was speaking in Berlin at a joint press conference with Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who has been criticized for his sluggish condemnation of the remark.

The German foreign ministry said Abbas has “immunity under international law” and he was in Germany on an “official visit.” Germany does not recognize Palestine as a sovereign state.