Police: Slain Paris holocaust survivor targeted because she was Jewish

"We cannot yet say if the motive for the murder was antisemitism but it is reasonable to assume... we will need to continue fighting against antisemitism.”

By JTA
March 27, 2018 10:27
2 minute read.
Paris France

POLICE PATROL the Trocadero area, across the Seine River from the Eiffel Tower, in Paris. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user uxperience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew, Ivrit
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Repor
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

Prosecutors investigating the slaying of a Holocaust survivor in Paris said the two suspects in custody targeted her because she was Jewish.

The development in the investigation of the March 23 slaying of Mireille Knoll came with the arrest of two men on Monday, Le Figaro reported, citing a police source.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“The supposed or actual belonging of the victim to a religion was a grounds” for the attack, the source told Le Figaro, in addition to her being “vulnerable.”

One of the suspects in custody, a 29-year-old man, was a neighbor of Knoll and knew her well, Le Figaro reported.

In addition, Knoll’s son told the French news agency AFP that one of the suspects was a regular visitor of his mother whom she treated “like a son.” The son said the suspect had visited her that day.

The prosecutor’s office reportedly has asked that the suspects remain in preventative custody. They will face possible charges of “murder related to the victim’s religion, real or imagined,” as well as aggravated robbery and destruction of property, AFP reported, citing judicial sources.

On Sunday, a spokesperson for SPCJ, the official monitor and security unit of the French Jewish community, told the 7sur7 news website that a preliminary examination of the crime “does not reveal an antisemitic characteristic, but this possibility has not been discounted as police investigate further.”



Knoll escaped the Velodrome d’Hiver roundup of Jews by French police for their deportation to death camps and murder by the Nazis.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who is in Israel on an official visit, said Monday afternoon following a meeting in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that France needs to “continue fighting against antisemitism.”

“I had a very moving and difficult moment when I had just concluded my visit to Yad Vashem. I heard about the outrageous murder of Mireille Knoll – a Holocaust survivor – in Paris,” Le Drian said. “We cannot yet say if the motive for the murder was antisemitism but it is reasonable to assume, it will not be surprising and, therefore, this only strengthens the fact that this struggle has not ended, and that we will need to continue fighting against antisemitism.”

According to the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism, or BNVCA, the octogenarian’s body was set on fire Friday night. Her charred body also had at least 11 stab wounds.

A forensic examination of the apartment showed that an arsonist started a fire in at least five distinct areas of that space, the report also said.

“The barbarity of this murder sends us back to that of Sarah Halimi just one year ago,” Francis Kalifat, president of the CRIF umbrella of French Jewish communities, said in a statement Monday. CRIF is organizing a memorial march in Knoll’s memory Tuesday.

Prosecutors say Halimi, a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician, was murdered by her Muslim neighbor in April partly in connection with her Jewish identity.

Related Content

ISRAELI PLAYERS celebrate on the bench in the closing minutes of the blue-and-white’s 80-66 victory
July 22, 2018
Israel takes title at FIBA Under-20 Euros

By JERUSALEM POST SPORTS STAFF