Two Kosher shops were damaged in a fire south of Paris on the third anniversary of the slaying of four Jews at a different kosher supermarket in that city.
No one was reported injured, but the fire damaged much of the Promo & Stock store which was vandalized with anti-Semitic graffiti last week, French officials said. A Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket branch was damaged as well.
Authorities believe the fire in the suburb of Creteil was a criminal act because the store’s protective shutters had been forced open, Antoine Besme of the regional prosecutor’s office told The Associated Press.
He said a preliminary investigation was opened and authorities were checking to see if the fire is linked to last week’s vandalism.
Albert Elharrar, president of the Creteil Jewish community, told the AP the manager of the shop is Muslim.
“That shows the spirit of the city of Creteil where the Jewish community lives,” he said.
The fire also raised concerns because it broke out three years after a deadly Islamic terror atack on a kosher market in Paris.
On Jan. 9, 2015, Muslim extremist Amedy Coulibaly killed four Jews during a hostage-taking at the Porte de Vincennes branch of the Hyper Cacher Kosher supermarket in Paris. That took place one day after he killed a policewoman in a southern suburb of the capital and two days after his associates, brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi, killed 12 people in an attack at the offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, whose editors and artists frequently publish caricatures mocking Islam and other faiths.
Israel’s ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, took to Twitter to condemn the attack as “a shameful provocation” which demonstrated the importance of fighting anti-Semitism.
Trois ans après le massacre de l’#Hypercacher je condamne l’incendie d’une épicerie cacher à Créteil. Cette nouvelle attaque contre la com juive est une provocation honteuse et prouve l’importance de la poursuite du combat contre l’antisémitisme
— Aliza Bin Noun (@AlizaBinNoun) January 9, 2018
(AP / YWN)