Miracle in Marseille

Man armed with knife attempts to enter Jewish school, kosher supermarket, in Marseille, France.

Ido Ben Porat , | updated: 1:27 PM

Marseille (illustrative)
Marseille (illustrative)

A man armed with a knife attempted on Friday morning to enter a Jewish school and a kosher supermarket in Marseille, France.

Police officers gained control of the suspect and arrested him.

The attempted attack occurred around 8:15a.m., when the suspect, armed with a knife, arrived at the Yavneh school, and was distanced from there by security personnel.

Afterwards, the suspect entered a nearby kosher supermarket, but security guards succeeded in overpowering him before he could cause harm.

No one was injured.

During these events, students at the school were locked in their classrooms.

French police increased their presence near Jewish institutions in the city.

The suspect has been arrested and an investigation opened.

Jewish Agency Chairman Yitzhak Herzog responded: "The anti-Semitism and danger to Jews' lives did not end with the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, which paralyzed the world. Today's attempt to carry out a terror attack in the city of Marseille, France, is a warning light that anti-Semitism is occurring under the surface and just waiting to burst out with the end of the coronavirus pandemic and restrictions on travel in countries around the world."

Rabbi Reuven Ohana, Chief Rabbi of Marseille, said that the Jewish community is continuing life as usual. On the school campus opposite where the suspect was caught with the knife, prayer sessions will be held as usual, in accordance with the usual security and health regulations.

"The suspect with the knife arrived at a supermarket opposite a school, with a knife. School security guards caught him and called the police. The school was immediately closed and the students remained in their classrooms. The suspect did not call out specific words and it is not yet clear what the motivation was. It could also be that he was drunk. Everything is still be investigated and the police have not yet stated what the background is," he said.

"The local Jewish community is far from the city center. This is a large and supportive community, with three schools and extensive religious services.

"I thank the Creator of the World and His emissaries the security guards, whose alertness prevented a tragedy, G-d forbid, and I thank the security personnel who acted quickly. We hope that it will become clear that there was no act of terror here, G-d forbid."