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Hollande meets French Jewish community leader after synagogue attacks

Pro Palestinian march in Paris
Pro Palestinian march in Paris Reuters
3 min

President Hollande is to hold talks on Tuesday with a senior representative of the Jewish community in France, after pro-Palestinian demonstrators tried to storm two Paris synagogues on Sunday.

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Two Jewish men were injured in clashes which erupted towards the end of a protest march against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Several thousand demonstrators took part in the Paris protest on Sunday and violence broke out in Bastille Square. People threw projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. Six policemen were also injured.

Joel Mergei, president of the top Jewish religious authority in France, said the attacks represented a “new low”, after an earlier petrol bomb attack in another synagogue in Saint Denis, a town just north of Paris with a large Muslim community of north African origin.

Security has now been stepped up around Jewish community buildings.

Yesterday, in his traditional Bastille Day message, Hollande warned that the conflict in the Middle East must not be “imported” into France.

The opposition UMP party on Tuesday demanded a ban on pro-Palestinian marches, when they are directed at France’s Jewish community.

“We were shocked and scandalised by the violence and hate disseminated in the demonstrations, where we saw protestors addressing French Jews in a hostile and hate-filled manner,” said Christian Jacob, leader of the UMP in the National Assembly.

“We expect the firmest measures to be taken by the government and the French President …We must learn from these demonstrations: once the ringleaders start waving their black flags in front of places of worship, we have no choice but to ban them, break them up and crack down and firmly deal with the ringleaders” he added.

France has the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe.
President Hollande is to hold talks on Tuesday with a senior representative of the Jewish community in France, after pro-Palestinian demonstrators tried to storm two Paris synagogues on Sunday.

Two Jewish men were injured in clashes which erupted towards the end of a protest march against Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Several thousand demonstrators took part in the Paris protest on Sunday and violence broke out in Bastille Square. People threw projectiles onto a cordon of police who responded with tear gas. Six policemen were also injured.

Joel Mergei, president of the top Jewish religious authority in France, said the attacks represented a “new low”, after an earlier petrol bomb attack in another synagogue in Saint Denis, a town just north of Paris with a large Muslim community of north African origin.

Security has now been stepped up around Jewish community buildings.

Yesterday, in his traditional Bastille Day message, Hollande warned that the conflict in the Middle East must not be “imported” into France.

The opposition UMP party on Tuesday demanded a ban on pro-Palestinian marches, when they are directed at France’s Jewish community.

“We were shocked and scandalised by the violence and hate disseminated in the demonstrations, where we saw protestors addressing French Jews in a hostile and hate-filled manner,” said Christian Jacob, leader of the UMP in the National Assembly.

“We expect the firmest measures to be taken by the government and the French President …We must learn from these demonstrations: once the ringleaders start waving their black flags in front of places of worship, we have no choice but to ban them, break them up and crack down and firmly deal with the ringleaders” he added.

France has the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe.
 

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