Fourteen Jewish women from the community of Bonneuil-sur-Marne, southeast of Paris, fell ill as a result of an anti-Semitic poison attack Monday.
The electronic lock to the community's synagogue had been coated with a chemical substance, and the 14 women who touched the lock fell ill, according to the Jewish Press.
The women had come to the closed synagogue at around 9 p.m. to take part in a meeting. Ralph Botbol, president of the synagogue, said that just after their arrival, two women began experiencing itching in their hands, and one woman’s face “swelled significantly.”
Several more congregants began experiencing intense burning sensations in their eyes and itchy rashes on their skin.
Emergency services were alerted. About 25 firemen rushed to the synagogue, where they treated the congregants and traced their condition to the digital lock, which had been sprayed or daubed with a “nonlethal irritant” that was sent to a police forensic lab for analysis.
Every woman who had touched the lock experienced the burning sensations.
Initial analyses conducted on Tuesday disclosed that the poison used was “tear gas, very diluted with water,” the Jewish Press report added.
The president of the synagogue filed a complaint for what he said was an “anti-Semitic act.”
The prosecutor at Creteil launched an investigation Tuesday on suspicion of “aggravated violence,” in the matter of the poisoning.