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Sun Jul 20, 2014, 10:52 AM


Hundreds of French Jews Immigrate To Israel During Gaza Offensive


Undeterred by the relentless rounds of cross-border hostilities between Israel and Hamas, hundreds of French Jewish immigrants gleefully accepted their Israeli identity cards at a ceremony here on Thursday afternoon.

"I came because of anti-Semitism, said teary-eyed Veronique Rivka Buzaglo, one of 430 immigrants who arrived from France the day before. "You see it in the eyes of people. I see it in everything," she continued in broken Hebrew, referring to the rising anti-Semitism in her home country.

As a proud, self-identified Zionist, Buzaglo says nothing would have stopped her from becoming an Israeli citizen this week -- not even the rocket sirens frequently blaring in the south of the country, where she plans to live.

Since the conflict began on July 8, Hamas has fired more than a thousand rockets into Israel, and Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip with land, air and sea strikes. On Thursday, Israel ramped up its military efforts and launched a major ground offensive in Gaza with thousands of troops. More than 260 Palestinians have been killed, the majority of them civilians, while there have been two Israeli fatalities, one solider and one civilian.

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