Jewish girl beaten in Paris over Gaza


PARIS (JTA) — A Jewish girl was beaten in a northern Paris suburb by schoolmates who claimed revenge for Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

A group of youths kicked and pushed to the ground the 14-year-old as she left school in Villiers-le-Bel on Monday with a friend. They broke the teen’s glasses and shouted, "You’ll pay for what the Israelis are doing in Gaza."

"Tell your Jewish brothers that we won’t be pushed around," the schoolmates also said, according to reports recounting the victim’s version of events.

The victim was able to reach her home with the help of her friend.

On Tuesday, the mother of the victim filed a complaint for "aggravated voluntary violence and insults of an anti-Semitic character," according to police.

Four suspects were identified by police, and one 16-year-old was detained for questioning, according to the French daily le Figaro.

The victim was "not seriously wounded," and, "was pushed to the ground because of her Jewish religion," said a spokesman for the national security force, The Central Public Security Direction. He added that it was too early to know if a personal conflict sparked the conflict, but confirmed that insults "referring to Gaza" were repeated by assailants during the incident.

Meanwhile, on Sunday in the southern Parisian suburb Kremlin Bicetre, a car parked in front of a synagogue was lit on fire, while others were vandalized and covered in petroleum with the intention of burning them as well, according to The National Bureau of Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism.

On Monday night, a car containing Molotov cocktails rammed into the front gate of a synagogue and burst into flames in Toulouse.

The Interior Ministry has promised to heighten security around "sensitive" areas, and met with Muslim and Jewish leaders to re-establish calm during what the French media and officials describe as an "importation" to France of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The National Bureau of Vigilance in a statement issued Wednesday put the "blame" for a rash of similar anti-Jewish incidents on the massive pro-Palestinian rallies held across the country on Jan. 3, which in Paris turned violent. It demanded that police prevent a second planned pro-Palestinian rally expected to take place Jan. 10 because "numerous correspondents have expressed their fear of a pogrom or racist attacks during pro-Palestinian protests, particularly in Paris."

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