French authorities arrested four Arab teenagers, who are suspected of beating a 14-year-old Jewish boy with a stick and taking away his kippah outside a synagogue in Montmagny, north of Paris.
JTA reported that the suspects were detained Wednesday night, after they had attacked their victim around 8 p.m. outside the suburban synagogue, where the holiday of Purim was being celebrated.
French police are treating the assault as an anti-Semitic incident. The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, praised the police for their “swift and effective” action.
The 14 and 15-year-old assailants called the Jewish boy, his sister and brother “dirty Jews” at the park where they were playing. The Jewish children were lighting firecrackers, a Purim custom in some Jewish neighborhoods in Europe.
It is unclear if the boy sustained injuries, but the attackers smashed his sunglasses, took away his kippah and verbally abused him.
According to BNVCA, all four suspects are of Arab descent. French media reported that the group are believed to have waited for their victim while he attended service at a nearby synagogue and assaulted him after he exited.
Two other attacks on Jewish children have been recorded in the suburb of Sarcelles near Paris since the start of this year.
In one case, French authorities investigated an assault on an 8-year-old Jewish boy who was attacked on his way to after-school tutoring. The 15-year-old assailants pushed him to the ground and then beat him.
Also in January, a 15-year-old girl had her faced slashed during lunch break by an unidentified assailant. She was wearing the uniform of her private Jewish school, Merkaz-Hatorah, and arrived home bleeding and in shock.
France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, denounced the attack on Jewish children as “heinous” and said that any attack on a citizen over their religious identity is an attack on France.
[Photo: Krokodyl / WikiCommons ]