Israel is closely monitoring and deeply concerned about “waves of antisemitism sweeping over France,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.
“In recent days, we have witnessed criminal assaults against Jewish targets. We strongly condemn these attacks and support the French government in its fight against antisemitism,” said the Premier.
Mass chaos has engulfed France since the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Nahel M., of Algerian origin, in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on Tuesday.
Rioters in areas with large Muslim populations have torched cars and looted shops, clashing with police and causing hundreds of injuries.
Vandals spray-painted “Police scum” on a monument in Nanterre commemorating the Holocaust and Jewish members of the French resistance to the Nazis.
Antisemitic chants have been heard during riots and Jewish businesses were ransacked in the Paris suburb of Sarcelles, dubbed “little Jerusalem” due to its large Jewish population.
Jews have been targeted repeatedly in France, including the January 2015 killings by Islamic terrorists at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris.
In 2012, Islamic terrorist Mohamed Merah perpetrated a massacre at the Ozar Torah Jewish school (now called Ohr Torah) in Toulouse.
Six years earlier, 23-year-old Ilan Halimi was captured, tortured, and held for ransom by a French gang named The Barbarians, led by a self-professed Islamic radical.
Outwardly identifiable Jews have routinely been attacked in cities across the country.
“45,000 members of the security forces have been deployed to cities across France, including Paris, Lyon, Marseille, and Grenoble,” said Gerald Darmanin the Interior Minister on Sunday.
A 38-year-old police officer has been charged with voluntary homicide over Nahel’s death and remains in custody.
Amid the violence, French President Emmanuel Macron postponed a state visit to Germany scheduled for Sunday.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate
Edited by Judy J. Rotich and Newsdesk Manager