A Jewish man and his nephew were beaten in a suburb southeast of Paris.
The man, 40, and his 18-year-old nephew were briefly hospitalized with minor injuries after last week’s attack, which has not officially been characterized as anti-Semitic.
An anti-Semitic motive was initially strongly considered by investigators, because at least three of the five suspected attackers used anti-Jewish slurs during the Wednesday evening crime, Brigitte Franceschini, the vice district attorney for Vitry-sur-Seine, told JTA Monday.
However Franceschini and director of the region’s police headquarters, Philippe Chopin, cautioned that the attack was not sparked by racism, but a dispute between two Jewish 12-year-old cousins and about 10
other neighborhood youth, who all know each other.
The victims were badly beaten by at least two minors and three young adults ages 16 to 21, who were detained by police from Wednesday until Friday, said police.
Three young adults are being charged with committing “group violence” and using “racist insults,” Chopin told JTA. It is not being characterized as an anti-Semitic attack, because the some of the minor attackers were Jewish, which drastically lowers the severity and punishment for the crime.
The incident comes after a handful of more severe crimes against Jews and Jewish institutions in Paris and nearby suburbs during the summer and fall. The Jewish umbrella group, CRIF, condemned last week’s attack, and underlined that it did not involve inter-ethnic Jewish and Muslim gang violence.