Skip to content

Israeli Law Enforcement Studies French Riots Amid Concerns Of Antisemitism

Israel Police Commissioner orders examination of protests and extreme reactions, as Prime Minister condemns attacks on Jewish targets.
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Israeli law enforcement is studying the riots that have swept across France following the killing of a 17-year-old youth in the Paris suburbs on June 27.

Nahel Merzouk, reportedly of Algerian descent, was shot to death during a traffic stop following a car chase in Nanterre. This led to six consecutive nights of violent rioting.

A Paris firefighter died overnight Sunday while trying to extinguish a blaze in an underground parking lot, according to French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, who added that 157 people had been arrested between Sunday and Monday. More than 3,000 people have been detained since Nahel’s death.

Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai at the weekly meeting of the police command on Sunday morning ordered operations, intelligence and foreign relations divisions to “examine what led to the protests and the extreme reaction of the French protesters, what the police’s orders were, how they acted before the event that led to the protest, and what during the event led to violent riots across France,” the police said in a statement.

Israel is closely monitoring and deeply concerned about “waves of antisemitism sweeping over France,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said during Sunday’s weekly Cabinet meeting.

This general view shows a damaged bus shelter in Limoges, central France on June 30, 2023, after protests following the shooting of a teenage driver by French police in the Paris suburb of Nanterre on June 27. A third consecutive night of violence in France sparked by the killing of a teenager by a policeman during a traffic stop has left 249 police and gendarmes injured, the interior ministry announced on June 30. Nahel M., 17, was shot in the chest at point-blank range on the morning of June 27, 2023, in an incident that has reignited debate in France about police tactics long criticised by rights groups over the treatment of people in low-income suburbs, particularly ethnic minorities. PHOTO BY PASCAL LACHENAUD/GETTY IMAGES 

“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,” he added.

In May 2021 violent riots exploded in cities across Israel during the 11-day war with the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir in January warned that an outbreak of riots such as occurred in 2021 is right around the corner.

At a press conference attended by Shabtai, Ben-Gvir said, “Guardian of the Walls 2 is coming. We must strengthen the police and establish a national guard. We must be ready,” he added.


Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate

(Additional reporting provided by JNS Reporter)

“What’s the latest with Florida Man?”

Get news, handpicked just for you, in your box.

Check out our free email newsletters

Recommended from our partners