A 19-year-old French Jewish woman was raped and her 21-year-old brother bound and gagged Monday by three hooded, attackers armed with a pistol and a shotgun in Creteil, a suburb east of Paris, according to BFMTV.
The attackers knocked on the door and then shoved their way into the home, demanding money and shouting anti-Semitic slurs. After demanding and receiving the family’s ATM and credit cards and codes, one used the family’s ATM cards to steal money from their bank accounts while the other two remained at the home, holding the two hostage.
The assailants then raped the young woman while the young man was bound and gagged. A neighbor who heard screams called police.
One of the assailants allegedly told the pair they were being targeted “because you are Jewish,” according to local French media who reported the attack on Tuesday. One of the victims said the attackers repeatedly asked, “Where are the old Jews?”
A rabbi in Creteil confirmed the attack to i24newsTV, but declined to label it an act of “anti-Semitic aggression.” Parents of the victims, however, had no such hesitation, and filed a complaint with police charging an “anti-Semitic attack.”
Reportedly the three suspects knew the family; a witness told BFMTV they also hunted for a younger brother who works in Paris, believing he would be carrying a large amount of money.
Two of the suspects were later taken into custody. A third is still being sought, police told Le Parisien, adding that it is too early to tell if the victims were selected because they are Jewish.
The president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor, condemned the attack.
“Unfortunately, it appears that it is ‘open season’ on Jews in France following so many recent violent attacks against Jews and Jewish institutions going all the way back to the brutal torture and murder of Ilan Halimi,” Kantor said, referring to the 2006 torture and murder of a Jewish phone salesman.
Kantor urged the French government to place the fight against anti-Semitic crimes at “the forefront of its agenda.”
On Tuesday, French lawmakers voted339 to 151 to symbolically recognize the Palestinian Authority as a sovereign independent country. The move does not affect the diplomatic stance of France at this time. However, it signals the sentiment of the nation’s lawmakers and and sends a warning to Israeli policymakers for the future.
Similar “symbolic” resolutions were passed recently in Britain, Ireland and Spain as well.
Hana Levi Julian