French police arrest four teens over anti-Semitic attack

Police in France arrest four teenagers of Arab descent who are suspected of beating a Jewish boy with a stick north of Paris.

Ben Ariel ,


Police in France arrested four teenagers who are suspected of beating a Jewish boy with a stick and taking away his kippah outside a synagogue north of Paris, JTA reported Thursday.

The suspects were detained Wednesday night in Montmagny. Their alleged victim, 14, was beaten after 8:00 p.m. outside the suburban synagogue, where the holiday of Purim was being celebrated. The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (BNVCA) praised authorities for “swift and effective” action.

The report did not say whether the boy was injured, but did say his sunglasses were smashed. One of his attackers was armed with a baton.

Police are treating the assault as an anti-Semitic incident.

The alleged attackers, aged 14 and 15, called the Jewish boy, his sister and brother “dirty Jews” at the park where they were playing, Le Parisien reported, citing police sources. According to BNVCA, all four suspects are of Arab descent.

The Jewish children were lighting firecrackers, a Purim custom in some Jewish neighborhoods in Europe.

The alleged attackers are believed to have waited for the boy while he attended service at a nearby synagogue and assaulted him after he exited.

France’s Interior Ministry released a report last month which found that while racist incidents ranging decreased overall in the country last year, there was a rise in violence targeting Jews and Muslims.

Violent acts targeting minorities increased, from 67 to 72 against Muslims and from 77 to 97 against Jews, the report said.

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warned last month his country is facing a “new form of anti-Semitism” marked by violence.

His comments came following an assault in a Paris suburb on an eight-year-old boy wearing a kippah.

It was the second attack on a Jewish child in the same area in a month. On January 10, a 15-year-old Jewish girl was slashed in the face while walking home from school, wearing the uniform of her Jewish private school.