On this day 2012: Jewish massacre in Toulouse, France leaves 4 dead

The victims were 8-year-old Myriam Monsonego, brothers Arié and Gabriel Sandler, 6 and 3, and their father Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, a teacher at the school.

A relative of Miriam Monsonego mourns during funeral in Jerusalem (photo credit: REUTERS)
A relative of Miriam Monsonego mourns during funeral in Jerusalem
(photo credit: REUTERS)
On this day, nine years ago, four people were killed, including three children, simply because they were Jews in France.
On March 19, 2012, the Islamic terrorist Mohammed Merah targeted a Jewish school in the French city of Toulouse. 
The children killed were 8-year-old Myriam Monsonego, and the brothers Arié and Gabriel Sandler, 6 and 3. The fourth victim was their father, a teacher at the school, Rabbi Jonathan Sandler.
Merah, 24 at the time, was shot dead by police after he jumped, guns blazing, from the window of an apartment where he was holed up a few days after his killing spree.
The Merah murders were the first major incident of the kind since the Paris subway bombing in the mid-1990s by Islamist militants linked to the GIA group in Algeria, a former French colony.
Since the 2012 Toulouse attack, antisemitic attacks have been on the rise in France - such as the 2014 protests in Sarcelles and the 2015 Hypercacher terrorist attack, in which four Jews were killed: Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Michel Saada and Philippe Braham.
Two years later, in April 2017, Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Parisian Jewish woman, was beaten and thrown out of her third-floor apartment window to her death by her 27-year-old Muslim neighbor. Last month, he was excused of the alleged antisemitic murder from a criminal trial because of his heavy intake of cannabis that supposedly compromised his “discernment” or consciousness. 
In March 2018, Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman, was discovered dead in her apartment. Yacine Mihoub, the 28-year-old son of Knoll’s neighbor who had known her all his life, and his friend Alex Carrimbacus, 22, were indicted for her murder. The latter said they targeted her for robbery because she was Jewish.
Born to a family of four children, Mohammed Merah was “raised to be an antisemite because antisemitism was part of the atmosphere at home,” his youngest brother Abdelghani said in 2013.
Their other brother Abdelkader Merah was sentenced to spend 30 years in jail by a Paris appeals court after being found guilty of complicity in his brother's slayings at the Toulouse school, as well as three soldiers.
In 2017 he had been ordered jailed for 20 years for being part of a terrorist conspiracy but had been cleared by a lower court of having a direct hand in his brother’s shooting attack. The appeals court, however, determined that he was complicit in the slayings. The prosecution had asked for a life sentence.
In 2019, two alleys in a square in the center of Paris were named after the three children who died in Toulouse. The street signs, one for Miriam and one for the siblings, display their names, ages and the circumstances of their death, calling them “victims of antisemitic terrorism and hatred.”
Rossella Tercatin contributed to this report.