Security Guards at French Jewish School Praised for Apprehending Suspected Knife Attacker
Jewish organizations warmly praised security guards at a Jewish school in the city of Marseille in southern France after they prevented a man from engaging in a possible knife attack on Friday.
“Attempted knife attack in a kosher grocery store near a Jewish school in Marseille,” tweeted CRIF, the representative organization of French Jews. “CRIF salutes the action of the school security guards and the police who prevented a new tragedy.”
Similar expressions of gratitude came from the World Jewish Congress, the American Jewish Committee and the Board of Deputies of British Jews.
Reports of Friday morning’s incident in the French press were contradictory, with Le Figaro quoting an unnamed police source urging caution, as the basic facts — among them whether the alleged assailant even entered the kosher store — were still to be established.
Other reports said that a man in his 60s with a prior criminal record had attempted to enter the Yavne Jewish School armed with a kitchen knife. He was turned away by security guards, who then apprehended him when he allegedly tried to enter the kosher store. Police officers were called to the scene and arrested the man.
The suspected attack came amid rising antisemitism in France. A recent report by the Jewish community’s voluntary security agency revealed that the number of violent antisemitic assaults on Jews in France remained consistent during 2020, despite the restrictions on movement imposed by COVID-19 lockdowns.