French President Francois Hollande
French President Francois HollandeReuters

French President Francois Hollande on Friday evening called the attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris an “appalling anti-Semitic” attack.

In an address to the nation, the French president confirmed reports that four hostages were killed at the Hypercasher supermarket, located in Porte de Vincennes on the edge of the city.

Hollande called for national unity and said the country should remain "implacable" in the face of racism and anti-Semitism, according to Reuters.

"It is indeed an appalling anti-Semitic act that was committed," he said of the hostage-taking by an Islamist gunman at the kosher supermarket.

Before his address to the nation, Hollande spoke with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and updated him on the hostage incident in Paris.

Netanyahu asked Hollande to maintain a reinforced level of security at Jewish institutions in France.

"Israel offers you all the help that France needs," Netanyahu said. "The international community must unite in action against extremist Islamic terrorists and against those who support them.”

France has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, and it flared particularly in 2014 and during Operation Protective Edge, with violent protests in Paris

At the beginning of December there was a shocking robbery and rape attack committed against a young Jewish couple in Paris, which led French politicians to condemn the steep rise of anti-Semitism.

Weeks later, automatic gunfire was sprayed at the David Ben Ichay synagogue on Paris's 3 Danjon Street. A similar incident occurred against a kosher restaurant in the French capital shortly thereafter.

Hollande said at the beginning of this month that the fight against racism and anti-Semitism will be his national cause for 2015.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)