French Police Probe Marseilles Stabbing Attack as Antisemitic Hate Crime
A Jewish schoolteacher in France was stabbed by a teenager in what police are investigating as a hate crime, Israeli media reported on Monday.
According to Channel 2, the teenager, a 16-year-old of Turkish Kurdish descent, arrived at a Marseilles synagogue, where a group of worshipers had congregated outside.
He apparently lunged at the teacher, an Orthodox Jew who teaches at the school connected to the synagogue, and stabbed him with what appeared to be a small machete, while making comments against Judaism and in praise of Islam.
The victim tussled with his attacker until the machete fell to the sidewalk, at which point the stabber fled. He was arrested by police shortly afterward.
The school teacher escaped mostly unscathed, suffering only minor stab wounds.
From initial questioning it appeared that the youth was emotionally unstable, according to the French newspaper La Figaro. According to Israel’s army radio station, the suspect told French authorities he carried out the attack in the name of “Allah” and on behalf of ISIS. The local Jewish community is insisting the attack was an antisemitic hate crime.
According to Channel 2, French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia spoke with the victim, Binyamin Amsalem, shortly after the attack.