Wednesday, 17 January, 2018

Two Kosher Stores Torched on Anniversary of Islamist Attack

Arson The store in the southern Paris suburb of Creteil caught fire overnight days after it was daubed swastikas and anti Semitic graffiti Arson The store in the southern Paris suburb of Creteil caught fire overnight days after it was daubed swastikas and anti Semitic graffiti
Lora Ball | 12 January, 2018, 23:40

"The damage is believed to be very severe", prosecutor Laure Beccuau told AFP news agency, adding that investigators did not believe the fire was an accident. Police did not say whether the fire was the result of arson, according to Le Parisien, although the Associated Press cited the regional prosecutor's office saying they were treating the fire as a criminal act because the store's protective shutters had been forced open.

A neighbouring supermarket, which had also been daubed with anti-Semitic graffiti last week, was partially damaged but the flames did not take hold.

The remains of a kosher grocery store in Creteil, south of Paris, after it was destroyed in what was likely an arson attack, January 9, 2018.

"There's a link between the graffiti and the fire", Jewish community leader Albert Elharrar told AFP.

Just last Wednesday, the two stores were reportedly vandalized with red swastikas. Coulibaly, who had declared allegiance to the self-described Islamic State, killed three customers and a store employee before being shot by police.

That attack came two days after Said and Cherif Kouachi - close friends of Coulibaly's - gunned down 11 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, the first of a wave of jihadist attacks in France over the past three years.

On the day The suspected attack took place on the third anniversary of the attack at another Paris kosher shop by a jihadist gunman who killed three customers and a Jewish employee

Israel's ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, took to Twitter to condemn "a shameful provocation" which demonstrated the importance of fighting anti-Semitism.

In the year following the attack, a record number of Jews from Western Europe chose to emigrate to Israel, CNN reported.

Though the exodus has since slowed, a string of anti-Semitic crimes have continued to worry France's large Jewish community. The family was beaten and robbed during the attack.

It comes amid fears among France's Jewish community about high levels of anti-Semitism.

Valls said French society as a whole had failed to mobilise in support of Jews following attacks such as the 2012 Islamist shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse in which four people were killed, three of them children.

"These are crimes that must be prosecuted and condemned", he said.

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