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Serge Klarsfeld in Jeruslam in January 2023

Photo: Blondet Eliot / ABACAPRESS / IMAGO

The historian Serge Klarsfeld, known as the "Nazi hunter," sees parallels between the Islamist Hamas' attack on Israel and the Nazi persecution of Jews during World War II. When he hears the testimonies of the affected Jews in Israel, "of course it brings us back to the Shoah," Klarsfeld told BFMTV over the weekend.

He added: "If you are a historian, you go even further back into the Jewish past and find that all generations of Jews have had to deal with pogroms in which there was indiscriminate killing, just as Hamas killed."

The 88-year-old Frenchman Klarsfeld, son of a Jew murdered in Auschwitz, together with his German wife Beate, made it their life's work to pursue Nazi criminals. As a child in 1943, Klarsfeld narrowly escaped the raid in which his father was arrested and deported.

"This is a merciless war between Israel and Hamas," Klarsfeld said. Israel "is at war with Hamas, not with the people of Gaza," he added. The terrorist organization Hamas wants only one thing: the destruction of the State of Israel and the expulsion or extermination of the Jews living in Israel."