Three unknown assailants invaded the home of a Jewish couple in the Paris suburb of Créteil on Monday, raped the 19-year-old woman, and robbed the home, saying it was “because you are Jewish,” local French media reported on Tuesday.
“The Jewish community is in shock over this,” a journalist who covered the story told The Algemeiner. Noting the concern about the case, he said, “When I posted the story on my social networks – they went crazy from reshares.”
The two were at her 21-year-old boyfriend’s parent’s home in the heavily-Jewish suburb, when the three masked attackers broke in, after the couple answered the door.
“They came to rob everything, especially the cash,” according to the Francophone JSS News Service. “According to the victim’s testimony to the police ‘they demanded more money and pointed out that we are Jews,'” the journalist said.
“So, since they had little cash on them or in the house, the thieves demanded a credit card and the PIN code in order to make a withdrawal at a nearby ATM. One robber went to withdraw the money, while the second robber immobilized the young man, and the third raped the woman,” the source said.
An hour after the beginning of the attack, the thieves fled with cash, jewelry and other items.
Police investigators managed to track down and arrest two of the suspected assailants, but the third member of the gang is still at large, according to French media.
Police said the attackers wielded a sawed-off rifle and pistol, and used tape to tie up the couple, and tape over their mouths.
No information was provided as to the identities of the suspects, the source told The Algemeiner.
On Saturday night, two Jewish men were also attacked in the vicinity, according to the Le Parisien newspaper.
The 19 and 21-year-old brothers were wearing skullcaps when they were attacked near the Shaare Zion synagogue, Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, said in a statement on Sunday.
Cazeneuve was “severely critical” of the attack, and the Créteil prosecutor opened an investigation pointing to the apparent antisemetic nature of the attack.
Creteil Mayor, Laurent Cathala, charged that the “aggression is anti-Semitic, it is indisputable.”
In comment on the synagogue attack, President FranÃ§ois Hollande said “France wants all the Jews of France to feel perfectly safe and quiet.”
Albert Elharrar, president of the Jewish community in Créteil, is still in shock.
“I have been in contact with the Créteil police commissioner since 11 pm Saturday night,” he said. “Unfortunately, it is always the Jewish community that is targeted.”
According to Elharrar, the two brothers, Créteil residents, were praying quietly. The little brother was able to defend himself, but the older one was taken down by brass knuckles to the eye.
“The attackers fled, one on foot, the other by bike. Police are searching for them,” he said.
One of the victims is still hospitalized at the Henri Mondor Hospital in Créteil according to Elharrar.
“I was able to speak with a specialist. The optic nerve was not affected, but the bone of his cheekbone moved. Two millimeters closer, and he could have lost his sight. He will now have to wait until the hematoma is reabsorbed, so he can be operated on during the week,” Elharrar said.
In June, Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky announced that French aliyah (emigration to Israel) will surpass 5,000 individuals by the end of 2014, an all-time record and a full 1 percent of the 500,000-person French Jewish community. Never before has such a large proportion of a Western Jewish community made aliyah in a single year.