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March 19, 2021 3:46 pm

French Jews Mark Anniversary of 2012 Attack That Killed Rabbi, Three Children at Toulouse Jewish School

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A billboard in Toulouse commemorating the victims of Mohammed Merah’s gun attack on the Ozar Hatorah school in March 2012. Photo: File.

French Jews commemorated on Friday victims of the horrific 2012 shooting attack at a Jewish school in Toulouse, France, which took place during a days-long killing spree that claimed the lives of seven people.

On March 19, 2012, Islamist terrorist Mohamed Merah attacked the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school, murdering Rabbi Jonathan Sandler and his two sons, six-year-old Arieh and three-year-old Gabriel, as well as another child, eight-year-old Miriam Monsonégo.

A memorial ceremony was held at the city’s Charles de Gaulle square in Toulouse, where local officials laid a wreath under the magnolia tree planted on the attack’s first anniversary by former French President Francois Hollande.

“Let us pay tribute to them, let us not forget them.” said CRIF, the French Jewish communal organization, on Twitter.

Merah had already killed French paratroopers Imad Ibn-Ziaten, on March 11, and Abel Chennouf and Mohamed Legouad, on March 15. After a manhunt, he was shot dead by police following a 30-hour siege at his Toulouse apartment building, on March 22.

“Nine years ago, an Islamist extremist murdered three students and a teacher at a Jewish school in Toulouse and three soldiers in Montauban,” said the American Jewish Committee (AJC). “May their memories continue to inspire our efforts to combat antisemitism and extremism in France and around the world.”

“See how much we miss them,” tweeted Anne-Sophie Sebban-Bécache, AJC Paris director, of the victims. “Words are tiresome. Names and faces summon, each time, our humanity: inconsolable pain, rage and an injunction: to overcome.”

“On this day, my thoughts are with Myriam Monsonégo, Jonathan, Aryeh and Gabriel Sandler,” said Latifa Ibn Ziaten, whose husband was the first victim of Merah’s killing spree. “I think of them, their families as well as the students and staff of Ozar Hatorah School who went through these painful memories with great courage. We will never forget.”


“Nine years ago to the day in Toulouse, an #islamist whose name I don’t even want to write down, murdered a teacher, a father and three small children, on the sole pretext that they were Jewish! We will never forget or forgive!” tweeted Ariel Goldmann, president of Fonds Social Juif Unifié, which represents Jewish educational and social bodies in France. “With you, Sandler and Monsonego families.”

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