Jewish Group Warns Islamists in France May Seek to Emulate Palestinian Stabbings After 3 Wounded in Antisemitic Attack in Marseilles
A rabbi and two others were wounded in an antisemitic stabbing attack on Saturday morning near a synagogue in Marseilles, France, local media outlets reported.
According to the European Jewish Press, one of the victims, a woman in her fifties, was stabbed twice in the stomach and sustained serious injuries. Doctors say her wounds are not life-threatening. Immediately after the assault, the victims fled to the nearby synagogue where their wounds were treated.
The assailant, a North African man in his 30s, was heard shouting antisemitic slurs during and after the incident, and was arrested near the scene of the attack shortly afterwards. According to French daily Le Figaro, he was known to police and was found to be heavily intoxicated. He was also reported to have a history of mental illness.
French antisemitism watchdog the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA) thanked the police for their swift response and said that the perpetrator should in no way be granted any leniency due to his mental state. The group pointed out that the attacker had the presence of mind to identify Jews, attack them and shout antisemitic slurs.
BNVCA also warned that Islamist extremists in France may seek to emulate the wave of stabbing and car-ramming attacks now sweeping Israel and called for extra vigilance within the Jewish community. The call for attacks, championed by Palestinian leaders and Islamist preachers, has spread widely in social media circles also frequented by French Islamists, the group said.
France has seen a rise in antisemitic attacks in recent years, including a hostage and shooting attack in January that left four dead, and another deadly attack on a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012.