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Sharp rise in attacks in France

PARIS, Aug 23 (JTA) — This week’s arson at a Jewish community center in Paris is the latest in a series of attacks against Jews and their property in France. Such incidents have nearly doubled in the first months of 2004. Principal anti-Semitic acts in France since the beginning of the year include: • Jan. 17 — A Jewish boy is attacked by a group of youths of North African origin at an ice rink near Paris; • Feb. 23 — Vandals deface a plaque to Paris school children deported to Nazi death camps; • Mar. 23 — A firebomb is thrown at a synagogue in Toulon in southern France; • April 30 — 127 tombs are daubed with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans at a Jewish cemetery in Herrlisheim, near the German border; • May 4 — A rabbi and his young son are attacked on their way to Friday night services in the Paris suburb of Creteil; • May 6 — Neo-Nazi graffiti and swastikas are painted on the war memorial to Jewish soldiers who died at the Battle of Verdun during WWI; • June 6 — A Jewish student is stabbed outside the Mekor Yisrael Yeshiva in Epinay-sur-Seine, north of Paris; • June 12 — Vandals damage a mural painted by Jewish children Holocaust victims at the Riversaltes concentration camp in south-west France; • July 28 — 34 tombstones are defaced with swastikas and satanic inscriptions at a Jewish cemetery in Saverne in Alsace; • Aug. 9 — 60 tombstones are daubed with neo-Nazi insignia in Lyon; • Aug 22 — A Jewish community center in Paris is destroyed in an anti-Semitic arson.