PARIS (Mar. 4)
A new wave of panic was touched off in Syria among Jews there by an attack against two Jewish youtas in which one was killed and the other seriously wounded, it was reported here today by travelers returning from Damascus.
The funeral of the victim, Joseph Chasbani, 17, brought one of the largest Jewish assemblies Damascus has seen in many years, as several hundred Jews accompanied the coffin to the local cemetery and laid wreaths on the tomb. The police made no effort to interfere with the funeral procession, which crossed the city’s Jewish quarter.
The assailant, a Moslem, was believed to have a certain immunity from police attention. Despite the fact that he is notorious for his anti-Jewish sentiments and for repeated threats and attacks on Jews in Damascus, no police action had been taken against him.
According to the travelers, the Moslem hooligan attacked Joseph and Itzhak Chasbani on February 19, as they were entering the Jewish quarter on their way back from school. The Moslem rushed at Joseph and stabbed him in the heart. When the 19-year-old Itzhak tried to come to his brother’s defense, he was stabbed three times.
As the assailant was dragged from the scene by passersby, he shouted to the crowd: “Aren’t you happy that I have killed a Jewish dog?” There was no information on whether he was arrested for the knife attacks.
The impact of the brutal attack is felt in the Damascus Jewish community which suffers from severe anti-Jewish persecutions and serious economic hardships. Jews in Syria are not permitted go to from one quarter to another without special police permission, a restriction which makes it impossible for them to work and support their families.
The last five Jews employed in Syrian banks were discharged last month and have joined the mass of jobless and practically starving Jews. Although the entire community would like to leave Syria, no exit permits have been granted to Syrian Jews, who are being kept captive behind sealed frontiers.