Manuel Valls
Manuel Valls Reuters

France will work with “all its might to protect Jews”, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls vowed on Monday evening.

Valls was speaking in a memorial for assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin at City Hall in Paris.

"The Jews are being persecuted again and again, victims of a virulent anti-Semitism that is hidden behind hatred of Israel," Valls said.

Anti-Semitism "strikes in the Middle East. It has also hit Europe. And France will put forward its entire strength to protect the Jews of France, who are legitimately connected to the land of Israel as they love their country of France, and always look at France as their homeland," he added.

The French Prime Minister said that France and Israel were "two sister nations" whose friendship was "demanding and honest."

We must "move together along the vision" of Rabin, said Valls, that vision being "a lasting peace in the Middle East, established between two states, Israel and Palestine, with secure and recognized borders. Two states living side by side in security.”

The comments mark the second time this month that Valls has stressed his country’s commitment to the Jewish people.

Earlier this month, the French Prime Minister urged the Jews of France to remain in the country, saying that France without Jews “would not be France”.

"The fact that French Jews leave their country in great numbers because they no longer feel safe...should have been for a long time for all of us an unbearable idea," he said at the time.

"I said with my words, with my heart, and I will continue to repeat it because it is a profound conviction: without the Jews of France, France would not be France," he continued.

Anti-Semitism has been on the rise throughout Europe and the numbers have been particularly striking in France, where 164 violent anti-Semitic incidents took place in 2014 - more than any other European nation. 

Just recently a Jewish teacher in Marseille was stabbed by a 15-year-old Turkish Kurd who told police he was acting in the name of Islamic State (ISIS).