JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked French President Francois Hollande for his country’s capture of the alleged Brussels Jewish museum gunman.
In a telephone conversation on Tuesday, Netanyahu also thanked Hollande for his “strong and consistent stand against anti-Semitism,” according to the Prime Minister’s Office.
Mehdi Nemmouche was arrested at Marseille’s main train and bus station, Saint-Charles, on May 29 and is being held on suspicion of terrorist activity. He arrived in Marseille aboard a bus that left from Amsterdam via Brussels.
On Tuesday, a Paris court agreed to a French prosecutor’s request to extend Nemmouche’s detention by 24 hours, a rare measure in France that can be applied only in cases where there is an “imminent” risk of attack, France 24 reported.
Nemmouche had been stopped by customs officers performing routine checks and declined to open his bag, leading the customs officers to evacuate the bus and check the contents of every bag aboard. The weapons found in his luggage “were arms of the same type used on May 24 in Brussels,” an unnamed source told the French news agency AFP.
Four people — an Israeli couple, a French woman and a Belgian man — were killed in the attack on the Jewish Museum of Belgium in central Brussels.