A French Gendarme walks by some of 250 desecrated tombstones at the Sarre-Union Jewish cemetery, near Strasbourg, in this file photo.
(photo credit: VINCENT KESSLER/ REUTERS)
A Jewish cemetery near Paris was desecrated and eight headstones vandalized, a watchdog on antisemitism said.
The incident earlier this week resulted in light damage to the headstones at the cemetery in Seine Saint Denis north of the French capital, according to a statement Wednesday by Sammy Ghozlan, president of the the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, or BNVCA.
A young woman of African descent who often used to wander around the cemetery grounds is suspected of being connected to the vandalism, Ghozlan wrote. The statement did not describe the damage or say whether the woman or girl in question is suspected of targeting the cemetery as part of a hate crime.
But, Ghozlan added, “the cowardly hatred that is proliferating today is driving those who hate Jews to attack not only the living, but also the dead.”
BNVCA has lodged a criminal complaint with police over the incident, Ghozlan added.
Last year, individuals whose identity has remained unknown destroyed 40 of the 50 headstones at an 18th-century Jewish cemetery in eastern France.
A passer-by noticed the vandalism at the disused cemetery in Waldwisse, a village situated 215 miles east of Paris.