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Jewish Teens Sprayed with Tear Gas in Anti-Semitic Paris Attack

French Jews report attack Saturday night by gang of young hoodlums of 'North African origin', as fears over European anti-Semitism grow.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 6/11/2014, 12:29 PM

Tear gas (illustration)
Tear gas (illustration)
Thinkstock

Two visibly Jewish teenagers wearing kippahs report being sprayed with tear gas on Saturday night in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of the French capital of Paris.

The incident was reported Monday by the French organization National Bureau of Vigilance against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA), and relayed by JTA.

According to BNVCA, the attack was filmed by security cameras in the area. The attackers reportedly consisted of a group of 8- to 17-year-old hoodlums of "North African origin," likely hinting at Muslim immigrants.

The attack comes a week after BNVCA and JTA reported two other Jewish teenagers, aged 14 and 15, narrowly escaped an axe-wielding man of Arab appearance in another Paris suburb.

The man tracked them as they were on their way to a local synagogue for Torah study on the Shavuot holiday. They say the man whipped out an axe and started chasing them, calling on three others to join the pursuit they eventually were able to escape.

BNVCA and the French Jewish group SPCJ last month reported two attacks on Jews in Creteil, a Paris suburb. Police also received a report last month about three men filming the entrance to the Creteil Jewish school, Otzar Hatora, in what was feared to be preparation for an attack.

The recent skyrocketing of French anti-Semitism is likely linked to a 312% rise in aliyah (immigration to Israel) by French Jews in 2014 as of the end of March. 

A recent poll by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency recorded that 40% of French Jews fear publicly identifying as Jews, and that 75% of European Jews feel that anti-Semitism is on the rise.

Concerns have run so high that the Israeli government recently announced a program to help French Jews emigrate to Israel en masse - after reports have surfaced showing a growing exodus of Jews from France to other Western countries.