Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse
Otzar Hatorah school in ToulouseFlash 90

A Paris appeal court on Thursday handed a 30-year jail term to Abdelkader Merah, brother of French jihadist Mohamed Merah who shot dead seven people in Toulouse, finding him guilty of being an accomplice in the 2012 murders, AFP reported.

Abdelkader Merah, 36, was jailed in 2017 for 20 years being part of a terrorist conspiracy but had been cleared, by the lower court, of having a direct hand in his brother's shooting spree.

The appeal court decision, reached after 12 hours of deliberations, the 30-year term falling short of the prosecution's request for a life term for Merah.

Mohamed Merah killed three soldiers in March 2012 before turning his sights on the Otzar HaTorah Jewish school in Toulouse, where he murdered a rabbi, two of the rabbi's children, aged three and five, and an eight-year-old girl.

The attack was the deadliest on Jews in France in three decades and marked the advent of a new threat from French-born radicals goaded by foreign terror groups to strike their homeland.

Mohamed Merah was ultimately killed when he tried to flee a raid on his apartment., three days after the school attack.

The trial of Merah's older brother and mentor Abdelkader was the first in connection with a string of attacks that have claimed the lives of over 240 people in France in recent years.

The appeal court also reduced the sentence of Fettah Malki, a friend of the Merah brothers, from 14 to 10 years, found guilty of associating with known criminals, rather than the greater crime of terrorist conspiracy.

Malki supplied Mohamed Merah with a machine gun and a bullet-proof vest and was also convicted of a terrorist conspiracy.

France has been hit by a wave of terrorist attacks in recent years, beginning with the 2015 attack on the offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine which was followed by the attack on the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in which four people were murdered.

Since those attacks, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by the Islamic State (ISIS), the biggest one being the attack in November of 2015 in which 129 people were murdered.

The country has been under a heightened alert in recent years in the wake of the attacks.