PARIS – Three persons who appeared to be of North African origin attacked two Jewish teenagers in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, it was reported on Monday.
The two friends were wearing kippot when they were sprayed with tear gas at the corner of Pierre Koenig and Marshal de Lattre de Tassigny streets on Saturday night. The entire attack was captured by a video surveillance system.
The Bureau National de Vigilance contre l’Antisémitisme condemned the “new anti-Semitic aggression in Sarcelles perpetrated by a pack of North African origin youths aged eight to 17, who attacked two young Jews wearing kippot and sprayed tear gas over them.”
Mayor François Pupponi said the “anti-Semitic character of the attack has not been established,” adding that it had aroused emotions in the municipality of some 60,000 people.
“Together with the police, we [if anything] overreacted, considering the current climate,” the mayor said.
Sarcelles has large North African communities, both Jewish and Muslim, is nicknamed “Little Jerusalem,” and has the largest concentration of kosher establishments and Jewish schools and institutions in the region, as well as poor and crime-ridden neighborhoods.
After the recent attacks on Jews at the Jewish Museum in Brussels (four dead) and in Créteil, southeast of Paris (two Jews beaten), security has been reinforced around Jewish institutions across France and Belgium.