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Paris: Anti-Semitic vandals torch kosher market

12 January 2018

A source close to the police probe said it was "too soon to discuss motives, " though Creteil prosecutor Laure Beccuau said investigators do not believe the fire was an accident.

He said a preliminary investigation was opened and authorities were checking to see if the fire is linked to last week's vandalism.

Two Kosher shops were damaged in a fire south of Paris on the third anniversary of the slaying of four Jews at a different kosher supermarket in that city.

A French kosher grocery in a Parisian suburb was gutted in a suspected arson attack on Tuesday, exactly three years after a deadly terrorist attack on another kosher supermarket in the capital.

Vandals set fire to a Jewish market in Paris, the latest anti-Semitic incident in the country.

Créteil has a sizable Jewish population, according to community leader Albert Elharrar.

The Promo & Destock store, whose owner is Muslim, was one of two neighboring kosher shops in Creteil that were daubed with swastikas last Wednesday, signaling rising anti-Semitism along the lines of the discrimination felt by Muslims.

Alain Jocard  AFP
Alain Jocard AFP

The fire occurs three years to the day after the attack of the Hyper Cacher supermarket on Porte de Vincennes, in the 20 arrondissement of Paris, during which four people were killed on January 9, 2015. Coulibaly, who had declared allegiance to the self-described Islamic State, killed three customers and a store employee before being shot by police.

He was convicted of encouraging his brother Mohamed to carry out a shooting spree targeting Jews and French soldiers, though he was cleared of having a direct role in the attacks.

Israel's ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, took to Twitter to condemn the attack as "a shameful provocation" which demonstrated the importance of fighting anti-Semitism.

In the year following the attack, a record number of Jews from Western Europe chose to emigrate to Israel, CNN reported. The family was beaten and robbed during the attack.

Former prime minister Manuel Valls told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday that more needed to be done to tackle anti-Semitism, which he said had become "deeply rooted" in France.

It comes amid fears among France's Jewish community about high levels of anti-Semitism.

"These are crimes that must be prosecuted and condemned, we need to do more", he said.

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Paris: Anti-Semitic vandals torch kosher market