French kosher store burns down, revives fears of anti-Semitism

French kosher store burns down, revives fears of anti-Semitism

"The damage is believed to be very severe", prosecutor Laure Beccuau told AFP, adding that police do not believe that the fire was an accident. The store was completely gutted in the fire, with the shelves along the aisles - where the fire is believed to have been started - blackened and charred, an AFP reporter said. "It's clear that they came for no other reason but to attack a kosher shop on the day of the commemorations".

A fire broke out Tuesday at a kosher market south of Paris that was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti last week, French officials said. The timing of the fire, on the anniversary of the 2015 Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket attack, has revived fears about rising anti-Semitism in France.

Albert Elharrar, president of the Creteil Jewish community, told the AP the manager of the shop is Muslim.

The fire spread to an adjacent store, the kosher supermarket HyperCacher, which was also covered with anti-Semitic inscriptions last week.

A Jewish supermarket in Paris is believed to have been attacked by arsonists, three years to the day since the terror attack on another kosher shop in the city.


In April 2017, a Jewish woman was murdered, pushed from a third-floor window by a Muslim neighbour, while a Jewish family was beaten, held hostage and robbed in what rights groups said was a hate crime. Coulibaly, who had declared allegiance to the self-described Islamic State, killed three customers and a store employee before being shot by police.

Aliza Bin Noun, Israel's ambassador to France, called Tuesday's suspected arson a "shameful provocation" that proves the importance of continuing the fight against anti-Semitism. France is home to Europe's largest Jewish population, estimated between 500,000 and 600,000.

Figures from the French interior ministry suggest that after a record year in 2015 for anti-Semitic attacks, the next two years saw successive reductions in the number of such acts.

'What has changed over the past three years is the awareness of this level of anti-Semitism, ' he said. That attack took place two days after the Charlie Hebdo attack, in which 12 people were killed.

"These are crimes that must be prosecuted and condemned", he said.

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