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Suspects charged over death of Jewish woman in Paris

28 March, 2018, 00:45 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • French police suspect anti Semitism in murder of 85-year-old

An autopsy showed she had been stabbed several times before being partly burned by a fire that was started in the apartment where she lived alone.

Two men, aged 29 and 22 years, have been placed under investigation and charged with murder "motivated by the real or supposed adherence to a religion", aggravated robbery, and destruction of property, according to the report.

The son of slain 85-year-old Jewish woman whose partly charred body was found in her home told i24NEWS on Monday that his mother had known the attacker for a number of years and never foresaw he would commit such a heinous act.

A silent march will take place Wednesday in Paris in memory of Knoll.

France's Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drain, who is now visiting Israel, said of the attack, "it reminds us of the fundamental and permanent side of this battle [referring to anti-Semitism]", after visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

A police source said he had convictions for rape and sexual assault.

The second suspect is a homeless man, according to Gilles-William Goldnadel, the victim's lawyer.

The World Jewish Congress (WJC) on Monday expressed its "shock and horror" over Knoll's "barbaric murder" and echoed the calls of its French affiliate, CRIF (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France), in expecting authorities to maintain full transparency over the course of the investigation. "I don't understand how someone could kill a woman who has no money and who lives in a social housing complex", her son, who was not named, told AFP news agency. "There was absolutely nothing of value to steal".

French President Emmanuel Macron condemned the attack and vowed to fight anti-Semitism in his country.

Knoll escaped a 1942 roundup of Jews in Paris by French police in Nazi German-occupied Paris, Poland's niezalezna.pl website reported.

After the war, she returned to the French capital and married a Holocaust survivor who died in the early 2000s.

Jewish advocacy groups have decried the attack on Knoll as a hate crime, the Times of Israel reports, warning that it may indicate rising anti-Semitism in France. In February, the murder was ruled an anti-Semitic crime. French-Jewish groups are calling on police to find out if the crime was anti-Semitic.

Other high-profile attacks on Jewish communities include the 2012 shooting at a Jewish school in Toulouse, which left four people dead, and the 2015 jihadist attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

"Multiple details of the incident were eerily reminiscent of the murder of Sarah Halimi, Hy" d, a 66 year old teacher who was brutally killed by a young Muslim neighbor nearly exactly a year ago.



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