WJC, Two adult men from Créteil, the Paris suburb where the attack took place, have been arrested by police in connection with the crime while a third suspect is still being sought.
The attack occurred on Monday. Three men armed with a pistol and a shotgun stormed the home of a Jewish family in Créteil, one of the eastern outskirts of French capital. After knocking on the door of the apartment and then breaking in, they demanded money and shouted anti-Semitic insults.
One of the sons in the family, 21 years of age, was there at the time with his 19-year-old girlfriend while the parents were away. One of the assailants proceeded to withdraw money from the nearest ATM with the couple's stolen debit cards while the two others remained in the apartment with the couple. The duo then raped the woman and tied up the man. After hearing them scream, a neighbor called the police.
According to a report by France's BFM website, the assailants targeted this particular couple because they mistakenly thought the male victim, a salesman at a popular clothing store at the Creteil mall, was the store's manager and had access to large amounts of money. Before the rape, the men demanded that the couple hand over their credit cards and codes, the couple later told police.
"Tell us where you hide the money," said one of the assailants during the robbery, according to one of the victims' friends in the BFM report. "You Jews always have money.”
The French Jewish umbrella organization CRIF strongly condemned what it termed “a savage anti-Semitic aggression” and urged authorities to act against growing anti-Semitism in the country:
“Anti-Semitism is continuing to rage across our country: Anti-Semitic prejudice is becoming stronger and increasingly perturbing, as revealed a recent survey of Fondapol/Ifop about anti-Semitism in France. We call for a specific plan to be urgently put in place whose aim it must be to deploy unprecedented judicial and police measures to reverse this trend. The CRIF expresses its support to the victims and their families,” the CRIF statement said.
France has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, and it flared particularly during this Israeli military operation in the Gaza Strip, with violent protests in Paris and other French cities.
On Thursday, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the attack as “vile” and said that it demonstrated that the fight against anti-Semitism was a daily struggle.
Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement on Wednesday that the attack’s "anti-Semitic nature seems proven" as the assailants had "started with the idea that being Jewish means having money.”
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