French group: 3 anti-Semitic attacks in a week

French Jewish community's SPCJ releases report showing a 45% increase in “anti-Semitic acts” in France over same period in 2011.

By JTA, REUTERS
October 11, 2012 13:49
1 minute read.
French special police

French special police 370. (photo credit: Christian Hartman/Reuters)

 
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Unidentified assailants near Paris wounded a Jewish woman in her succa, one of three serious incidents in the last week and indicative of a reported 45 percent increase in anti-Semitic attacks in France in the first half of this year.

The attack was one of three incidents reported by the security unit of France’s Jewish communities since Oct. 5. In a second incident, a Jewish man was lightly wounded by a metal ball that was fired at him as he was coming out of his Paris synagogue. The third involved the desecration of a Jewish cemetery near Marseille.

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The SPCJ has counted 386 of what it calls “anti-Semitic acts” from Jan. 1 to Aug. 31 this year, the organization said in a report on Wednesday. In the corresponding period of 2011, SPCJ counted 266 such incidents. SPCJ said these figures correlated to official data by French authorities.

Of the incidents registered in the first eight months of 2012, 101 were “violent actions,” SPCJ said, including the slaying of four people at a school in Toulouse on March 19 by Mohammed Merah, a Muslim extremist. That attack triggered "an explosion" of anti-Semitic attacks, SPCJ said. Most other incidents documented were cases of intimidation, the report said.

The report's release came on the same day that French anti-terror police announced they had found bomb-making materials and chemicals in a garage near Paris during their investigation into an anti-Jewish Islamist network suspected of being behind last month’s attack on a Jewish grocery store in Sarcelles, a suburb of Paris.

The explosion at the kosher shop, reportedly caused by a grenade, damaged the store and injured a shopper, French police said.

The raid that uncovered the cache was led by the police anti-terrorist units in several cities across France. In Strasbourg, the prime suspect, Jeremie Louis Sidney, 33, was shot dead after he opened fire on police officers.

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During the course of the operation, 12 suspects were arrested.

Joseph Strich contributed to this report.

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