Politics

Two Synagogues Attacked In Paris During Recent Anti-Israel Protests

| by Jared Keever

Protesters have attacked two synagogues in Paris recently as tensions run high in the city during the continued Israeli airstrikes on Gaza.

On Friday, someone threw a firebomb at the entrance of a synagogue in Aulnay-sous-Bois, a northeastern suburb of Paris. No injuries were reported at that incident.

On Sunday, a group of protesters split from a larger protest and tried to force their way into a synagogue in the eastern part of the city. 

Aline Le Bail-Kremer, who watched the attack from across the street, told Fox News the protesters approached the building from two directions. They reportedly grabbed chairs from local cafes and wielded bats as they tried to push their way past security guards. 

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The guards were able to hold the protesters at bay until police arrived and broke up the crowd. At least three Jewish men, who helped fight off the attack, were taken to the hospital, one witness told the Jewish Telegraph Agency.

Le Bail-Kremer, a representative of the anti-racism group SOS Racisme, said she believed there to have been about 150 people inside the building when the attack occurred. The people were holding a service for three Israeli teens who were kidnapped and found murdered in Gaza last month.

Israel blamed the murders on Hamas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised revenge for the deaths.

Since that time, Israel has launched more than 1,300 airstrikes on Gaza. The airstrikes have spawned protests across Western Europe and other parts of the world.

Sammy Ghozlan, president of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, told Haaretz in a recent email that unrest in Israel can sometimes lead to violence against Jews in other parts of the world. 

“We have seen violence increase at periods of unrest in the Middle East and this is [in] no small part the result of incitement and anti-Semitism at demonstrations against Israel,” he wrote.

Ghozlan warned that the attacks may become more frequent.

French Prime Minister Prime Manuel Valls denounced the violence in Paris over the weekend.

“France will never tolerate using violent words or acts to import the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on our soil,” he said.

Sources: Fox News, The Jerusalem Post (JTA Story), Haaretz