Report: Assailants Hold French Jewish Family Hostage at Home, Beat Victims
At least two assailants bound and held a Jewish family hostage in their home on Wednesday and beat their victims, in what French police say could be a hate crime, French JSS News reported.
The assailants arrived at the family’s home in Le Blanc-Mesnil about 10 kilometers northeast of Paris clad in balaclavas at about 5:30 a.m., tied their victims’ hands and feet in wire, beat them, and prevented their escape.
The family, a father, mother and son, told police the assailants were from a North African country, and that they stole the family’s Mercedes, 2,500 euros ($2,737) and the keys to their jewelry store in Paris’ 10th arrondissement.
The victims told police their assailants had berated them, saying “You are Jewish, so you have money, which is why we decided to attack you.”
According to the report, Police said they believe the assailants acted out of antisemitism but said further investigation was needed. If they came because they presumed the family was Jewish, then it would constitute an antisemitic attack, police said.
French Jewish community security group the BNVCA confirmed the attack.
The neighborhood where the family lives is heavily populated by immigrant families, primarily Muslim and of North African origin.
The son, Michael, was released from the hospital on Wednesday and said he was still in shock. The father, Elie, is still in the hospital, and he may be released Wednesday, but doctors want to be sure his condition is stable.
Local police launched an investigation and are reviewing closed circuit television monitoring of the neighborhood.
Wednesday’s incident was the second such hostage-taking attack of Jewish victims this past year. In December, three assailants invaded a home in Creteil apparently because the occupants were Jewish, raped the 19-year-old woman inside and robbed the home.
A recent survey said antisemitic incidents were up 84% this year so far, compared to the same period last year.