(JTA) — Police in Paris arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the death of his neighbor, a Jewish woman whose lifeless body was found outside their apartment building.
Sarah Halimi, 66, died Monday night. Police have not said whether they have a theory as to what led to her death or whether she was pushed from her window on Vaucouleurs Street in the crime-ridden 11th district of the French capital, according to a report Wednesday by the Actualite Juive weekly.
The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism watchdog, however, believes it may have been premeditated murder possibly aggravated by racial hatred, the watchdog’s president, Sammy Ghozlan, told JTA on Wednesday.
Ghozlan, a retired police commissioner, said relatives of Halimi said that she had previously experienced anti-Semitic harassment by a relative of the man under arrest.
“This tragedy may have been the result of a random violent crime by a thug, or maybe there was a background of racial hatred here, or hateful ideology — at this point it’s not known yet,” Ghozlan said.
Halimi’s family wants to have her buried in Jerusalem. The body will undergo an autopsy.