French police patrol in the street in the Marais Jewish quarter in Paris.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Following the rape of a Jewish woman in a suburb of Paris on Monday, Prime Minister of France Manuel Valls condemned the attack as vile and said that it demonstrated that the fight against anti-Semitism is a daily struggle. Valls also expressed support for the victims' families.
The French leader made the comments on twitter on Thursday.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement on Wednesday that the "anti-Semitic nature (of the attack) seems proven," saying that the assailants "started with the idea that being Jewish means having money," AFP reported.
On Monday, armed assailants broke into a suburban Paris residence of a Jewish couple, raped the woman while her husband was kept at bay, and robbed the couple.
French police arrested two suspects in the incident, which occurred in the suburb of Creteil, the French daily Le Parisien reported. A third suspect remains at large.
The three men carrying handguns and a short-barreled rifle forced their way into an apartment where the parents of one of the victims live and separated the 19-year-old Jewish woman and her 21-year-old Jewish partner, the paper reported. One suspect raped the woman while another guarded her partner and a third withdrew money from a cash machine. The assailants spent approximately one hour inside the house, police said.
According to a report by France's BFMTV website, the assailants targeted this particular couple because they mistakenly thought the male victim, a salesman at a popular clothing store at the Creteil mall, was the store's manager and had access to large amounts of money.
Before the rape, the men demanded that the couple hand over their credit cards and codes, the couple told police. The assailants told the couple they shouldn’t try to pretend they don’t have money because they knew the victims were Jewish, the victims said.
"Tell us where you hide the money," said one of the assailants during the robbery, according to one of the victims' friends in the BFMTV report. "You Jews always have money.
A law enforcement source told Le Parisien on Monday, that, "It is too early to tell if the victims were selected because they are Jewish.”