Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot
Machete attack victim Benjamin Amsellem

A 17-year-old Turkish citizen of Kurdish origin was sentenced to seven years in prison on Thursday for attacking Benjamin Amsellem, a Jewish teacher in Marseille, France with a machete a year ago.

The attacker was convicted by a French juvenile court in a closed-doors trial for wounding his victim who wore a yarmulke on his way to school in January 2016.


After the attack, the local prosecutor said that the teenager, whose identity was kept secret because he was 15 at the time, was an agent of ISIS. He was charged with attempted murder during a terrorist attack, with the aggravating element of anti-Semitism.

Amsellem, who has since moved to Paris, told the news website 20 Minutes that nowadays he opts for a hat instead of a yarmulke “in places where I don’t feel safe.”

After the attack, the head of the Jewish community in Marseille, Zvi Ammar, was widely criticized for telling the newspaper La Provence that Jews in his city should not display their yarmulkes in public.

A Reuters story noted that France is has both the largest Jewish and Muslim communities in Europe.


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