french kosher store burns down on attack anniversary
Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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Last Updated : GMT 05:17:37
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On A Jewish Supermarket By An Islamist Gunman

French kosher store burns down on attack anniversary

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice

Emiratesvoice, emirates voice French kosher store burns down on attack anniversary

A French kosher grocery store was gutted in a suspected arson attack
Paris - Emiratesvoice

A French kosher grocery store was gutted in a suspected arson attack Tuesday, reviving anti-Semitism fears three years to the day since an assault on a Jewish supermarket by an Islamist gunman.

Prosecutors said the store in the southern Paris suburb of Creteil caught fire in the early hours, days after it was vandalised with anti-Semitic graffiti.

"I just feel sick," said the store's owner, a 44-year-old Muslim who asked to remain anonymous.

"I'm Muslim. I work in a Jewish shop. There is no incompatibility there," said the businessman, who was briefly hospitalised with shock after seeing the extent of the damage.

Anti-semitism watchdog BNVCA said that the attack was intended to "punish" the Muslim owner for his links with the Jewish community.

A source close to the police probe said it was "too soon to discuss motives", though Creteil prosecutor Laure Beccuau said investigators do not believe the fire was an accident.

The Promo & Destock store was one of two neighbouring kosher shops in working-class Creteil that were daubed with swastikas last Wednesday.

The second store was also slightly damaged in the fire.

Israel's ambassador to France Aliza Bin Noun called the fire a "shameful provocation" on the third anniversary of the January 9, 2015 attack at the Hyper Cacher supermarket in eastern Paris.

Jihadist gunman Amedy Coulibaly killed three customers and an employee in an attack that triggered deep concern over anti-Semitism.

That attack came two days after Coulibaly's close friends Said and Cherif Kouachi gunned down 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the first of a wave of jihadist attacks in France.

- 'Deep-rooted' anti-Semitism -

A record 7,900 French Jews emigrated to Israel the year of the Hyper Cacher attack, many of them citing fears over anti-Semitism.

Though the exodus has since slowed, a string of anti-Semitic crimes have continued to worry one of Europe's biggest Jewish communities, numbering an estimated half a million.

In 2017, a Jewish woman was pushed to her death from a third-floor window by a Muslim neighbour, while a Jewish family was beaten, held hostage and robbed in what rights groups said was a hate crime.

The northern Paris suburb of Sarcelles, nicknamed "Little Jerusalem" due to its large Jewish population, was rocked by anti-Jewish violence during the 2014 war in Gaza.

Several shops were set on fire or vandalised, including a kosher grocery.

Former prime minister Manuel Valls told Europe 1 radio that more needed to be done to tackle anti-Semitism, which he said had become "deeply rooted" in France.

"What has changed over the past three years is the awareness of this level of anti-Semitism," he said.

Valls said French society had failed to mobilise in support of Jews following attacks such as the 2012 Islamist shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, in which four people were killed, three of them children.

"These are crimes that must be prosecuted and condemned," he said.

"We need to do more."

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