(JTA) — Fourteen people were mildly poisoned by a toxic substance that was applied to the keypad of an electronic lock of a synagogue south of Paris.
Members of the Jewish community of Bonneuil-sur-Marne on Monday called rescue services to report a sudden strong burning sensation in their eyes and itchy rashes on their skin, Le Parisien reported.
Some 25 firemen rushed to the synagogue, which is under police and military protection whenever it is open. They treated congregants who were poisoned and traced its source to the lock. Described as a non-lethal irritant, the substance found on the pad was sent for analysis at a police forensic lab.
The substance was applied to the pad when the synagogue was closed and the military personnel guarding it were not present, according to the daily. Two of the victims filed a police complaint against unidentified individuals believed to have been responsible. Police believe the substance was deliberately placed there to cause harm.
Separately, on Dec. 7, a passenger on a train from Paris to the southeastern suburb of Melun threatened and insulted a group of French Jews.
The man, who said he was a former soldier, said loudly: “If only I had a grenade here, how do you call it, a fragmentation grenade, I would blow up this wagon with the f***ing Jewish bastards.”
He proceeded for several minutes to harass the group of eight Jews, who were wearing yarmulkes, according to a report Tuesday by the news website JSSnews. It also said he identified himself to passengers as an Algerian. In the video, the man is seen turning to a female passenger, asking her: “What’s the matter, ma’am, do you find this shocking? I don’t. Not when they’re massacring Palestinian babies.”
Addressing the woman, he said: “Call whoever you want, call your mother, call the army.”
Turning to the Jewish passengers, he yelled: “Bunch of bastards, we’ll get you and we’ll screw you.”