A 17-year-old Lubavitcher Hassid was walking near his home in a Jewish neighborhood in France on Friday night when he was brutally attacked by several youths with metal pipes. Passers-by alerted police, and he was brought to a hospital, where doctors are working to save his life.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who is scheduled to arrive in Israel Sunday evening for a three-day visit, condemned the attack in a Saturday night announcement. "The President promises the victim and his family his support and his determination to fight against all forms of racism and anti-Semitism," his office stated.
The Union of Jewish Students of France said the attack was clearly anti-Semitic. Jewish and other groups agreed, as it occurred in Area 19 of Paris, known for the hundreds of Jewish families that live there.
The youth's father told a French radio station that his son was in a coma, hospitalized in intensive care at Cochin Hospital.
Because of the Sabbath and its prohibitions on carrying items outside, the victim had no identification on him. He was identified only hours after the attack, when his family notified police that he was missing and the connection was made.
AP reports that France, with western Europe's largest population of both Jews and Muslims, faced a surge in anti-Semitic crime starting in 2000 when the Oslo War started.