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Jewish man attacked by stun gun near Paris synagogue

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(JTA) — Two unidentified men wielding a stun gun assaulted a Jewish man near a Paris synagogue.

K. Sassoun, a 52-year-old Israeli, was identified as the victim of Monday night’s attack at a building next to a synagogue on Pavee Street in central Paris, according to the JSSnews.com news site. Sassoun was not seriously hurt but required medical treatment after being knocked down by the stun gun, which sends electric currents that usually incapacitate targets or render them unconscious for several minutes.

The perpetrators fled immediately. One was black, according to an unnamed witness who reported the incident to the National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism, a Drancy-based watchdog known locally by its French acronym, BNVCA.

“The perpetrators assaulted the victim for no other reason than his clothing and appearance, which identified him as being Jewish, and the fact that he was near a Jewish place of worship,” BNVCA said in a statement.

Sassoun filed a complaint for racial hate crime and assault with Paris police.

The site of the attack — the 4th arrondissement, or Marais — once was the center of Jewish life in Paris and is considered its historic Jewish quarter.

According to BNVCA, the assault was among a spate of hate crimes against Jews this month.

On Saturday, a group of teenagers hurled stones at a Jewish institution in Sarcelles near Paris and shouted “death to Jews.” A day earlier, BNVCA learned that a school bus full of Jewish students was pelted with stones by teenagers in Paris.

And on Sunday, several people chanted anti-Semitic slogans at a young Jewish woman near a Jewish studies center in Strasbourg. One of the chants was “Merah max” – a reference to Mohammed Merah, an Islamist who killed four Jews at a Jewish school in Toulouse in 2012.

Earlier this month, the French Jewish community’s watchdog organization, SPCJ, released a report that counted 423 anti-Semitic incidents in France in 2013 — a 31 percent decrease from the previous year, but still higher by 8 percent than the number of incidents recorded in 2011.

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