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Jerusalem funerals for victims of Paris siege

By PA Reporter

Thousands of mourners joined Israeli leaders and the families of the four Jewish victims of the terror attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

An emotional funeral procession in Jerusalem reflected the deep sense of connection and concern in Israel over the safety of fellow Jews in Europe.

The ceremony, broadcast live on all Israeli TV channels, turned into a nationwide expression of mourning and solidarity.

Relatives of each victim spoke briefly and lit a torch in memory of their loved ones before stepping off the stage with a huge Israeli flag in the background to embrace Israel's leaders.

The ceremony concluded with the national anthem.

The four victims - Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philipe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada - died last Friday during a hostage stand-off.

They were among 17 people killed in three days of attacks last week by terrorists claiming allegiance to al-Qaida and the Islamic State extremist groups.

The killings shocked France's Jewish community of 500,000 - the largest in Europe -and deepened fears among European Jewish communities already shaken by rising anti-Semitism and threats from Muslim extremists.

The attack sparked calls from Israeli leaders for French Jews to immigrate to the Jewish state.

Those calls received a mixed reception in France, where politicians and Jewish leaders insist Jews are an integral part of the country and where a migration of the community would be perceived as a failure of the republic.

French President Francois Hollande paid tribute to the three police officers killed in the attacks in Paris, placing Legion of Honour medals on their coffins.

Flanked by hundreds of officers at police headquarters in central Paris, he told the crowd: "They died so that we could live free."

Charlie Hebdo cartoonist Renald "Luz" Luzier broke down as he told a Press conference he had drawn Mohammed as a "man who is crying" for the special edition.

"We are cartoonists and we like drawing little characters, just as we were as children," he said.

"The terrorists, they were kids, they drew just like we did, just like all children do. At one point they lost their sense of humour.

"At one point they lost the soul of their child which allowed them to look at the world with a certain distance. I'm sorry we've drawn him yet again but the Mohammed we've drawn is a man who is crying."

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