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March 18, 2022 3:11 pm

French Presidential Candidate Valérie Pécresse Denounces Antisemitism on 10th Anniversary of Deadly Attack 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 presidential candidate Valérie Pécresse on Friday visited the Jewish school in southern city of Toulouse that 10 years ago was site of a deadly Islamist terror attack that took the lives of a teacher and three small children.

On a visit to the Ohr Torah school — known as the Ozar Hatorah school when the attack occurred on May 19, 2012 — Pécresse said that the terrorist behind “this barbaric attack wanted to attack the Jews of France and, through them, France itself, because when you kill a Jew from France, a Jewish child, you are attacking France.”

The attack at the school in Toulouse was part of a days-long terror spree by Mohamed Merah, an Islamist gunman, that claimed the lives of seven people.

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

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“France is fraternity, humanity, France will always stand tall and will never let antisemitism pass,” Pécresse said on her visit to the school.

“Out of this tragedy came love,” she added.

On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron and his Israeli counterpart Isaac Herzog, accompanied by their wives, will attend a special commemoration ceremony in Toulouse in honor of Merah’s victims.

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