Europe

Former US President Jimmy Carter speaks to the media on April 10, 2013 in New York City
BBC reporter apologizes for linking anti-Semitic attacks in France to Palestinian 'suffering' at Israeli hands

Muslim frustration over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is one of the factors that led to the attacks on satirical French magazine Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket in Paris last week, former US President Jimmy Carter told Jon Stewart on the Daily Show on Monday.

When Stewart asked Carter what he believed led to the massacre, which claimed the lives of 17 people, the latter replied: "Well, one of the origins for it is the Palestinian problem. And this aggravates people who are affiliated in any way with the Arab people who live in the West Bank and Gaza, what they are doing now [and] what's being done to them. So I think that's part of it."

Carter, a Georgia Democrat who served as president from 1977 to 1981 and who in 2002 was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, said the world is in the midst of a "new evolutionary development in terrorism."

"I think this is a new evolutionary development in terrorism, where people go into Syria, they get trained there, they have a passport from France, from Great Britain or from the United States," he said. "They stay there for a few months and learn how to be a terrorist and then they come back through Turkey and you know they have been there and you know who they are. And I think this event in Paris is going to waken up the people in charge of security to watch those people more closely than they have in the past - and not single out all of the Muslims in the country."

Carter has repeatedly slammed US administrations for failing to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and has advocated direct negotiations with the Islamist group Hamas.

Jim Hollander (Pool/AFP)

BBC reporter apologizes for linking anti-Semitism in France to Palestinian 'suffering'

Meanwhile, BBC reporter Tim Willcox expressed regret after saying on television during the Paris unity rally that Palestinians "suffer hugely at Jewish hands," the Jerusalem Post reported.

Willcox on Monday tweeted: "Really sorry for any offense cause by a poorly phrased question in a live interview in Paris yesterday – it was entirely unintentional."

The BBC News reporter was covering the unity march on Sunday being held in solidarity with the victims of a wave of Paris terror attacks when he replied to a woman's comments about the dire state of French Jewry by saying: "Many critics of Israel’s policy would suggest that the Palestinians suffer hugely at Jewish hands as well."

According to the Telegraph, the woman who made the comment was the daughter of Holocaust survivors.

"We have to not be afraid to say that the Jews are the target now," the woman had said.

"You understand everything is seen from different perspectives," Willcox answered, the Post reported.

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