French police officer
French police officeriStock

France’s interior minister promised on Sunday to protect France’s Jewish community from extremists after a double stabbing in Paris blamed on Islamic terrorism, The Associated Press reports.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin visited a synagogue ahead of the evening start of Yom Kippur, saying more than 7,000 police and soldiers are protecting Jewish services this weekend. France has Europe’s largest Jewish community.

“I came to assure ... members of France’s Jewish community of the protection of the state,” Darmanin told reporters, according to AP. “Because we know that Jews are particularly targeted by Islamist attacks and we should obviously protect them.”

Darmanin defended authorities’ handling of a double stabbing Friday outside the former offices of the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo, saying intelligence services have prevented 32 potential terrorist attacks over the past three years.

Coordinated Islamic extremist attacks on Charlie Hebdo’s Paris newsroom and a kosher supermarket in January 2015 killed 17 people, and Friday’s stabbing came as the trial into those attacks is under way.

A Pakistan-born teenager admitted on Saturday to carrying out Friday’s stabbing, saying he wanted to avenge the republication of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed by the satirical weekly.

One suspect arrested after Friday’s stabbing was later released — and his lawyer says that he had tried to stop the assailant and should be considered a hero instead.

Charlie Hebdo received fresh threats from Al-Qaeda this month after it republished the controversial cartoons.

Since the Charlie Hebdo attack, France has been hit by a number of attacks claimed by 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.

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