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Germany

Germany Draws the Line on Protests

The man in the above photo faces court action and possible deportation for his daughter's outfit. The photo was taken during an anti-Israel demonstration in Berlin over the weekend.

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"Intolerable"

The photo could have been out of Ramallah or Gaza City: a grim-faced father, black and white shawl draped around his shoulders, carrying his five-year-old daughter during a demonstration, fake dynamite sticks wrapped in a belt around her waist.

But it wasn't in Ramallah, it was in Berlin, during a anti-Israel demonstration this past weekend. And that, say German officials and their lawyers, is intolerable.

"They are openly advertisting for murder," Berlin's interior minister Erhart Körting. "We will use everything at our disposal against such a thing."

Prosecutors in the city-state have filed charges against the man, whose identity is still not known. He could face a heavy fine or up to three years in jail, according to the prosecutor's office.

The photo has also incited anger in the German government, which is already on edge following a rise in anti-Semitic attacks in recent weeks. Germany's Interior Minister Otto Schily, called the act "intolerable" and said the deportation clause in a series of laws Germany passed following the Sept. 11 attacks could be used.

"This should not and will not be tolerated in our country," Schily said in a statement.

About 11,000 people took part in the "Solidarity with Palestine" demonsrtation which wound it's way through Berlin's city center Saturday, one of scores of such demostrations throughout Europe.

An umbrella organization for Palestinians in Berlin and neighboring Brandenburg distanced themselves from the man, who they said they didn't recognize.

"We regret that such disguises were used," said a spokesman. "We wanted to bring our message to the German people."

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