Following are the worst attacks on France’s Jewish community in recent decades. The Jewish population in France numbers about 550,000, or about 0.9 percent of the total, according to the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France, the country’s main Jewish Group. France has the biggest Jewish community in Europe.
-- Today: Four people were killed, including three children, and one seriously injured in a shooting outside a Jewish school in a residential neighborhood of the southwestern city of Toulouse. The murderer is on the run and no claim was made for the killing.
-- February 13, 2006: Ilan Halimi, 23 years old,, was found naked and dying with marks of torture on his body. Halimi, a salesman in a Paris telephone store, had been kidnapped on Jan. 21. Police found him in the southern Paris suburb of Sainte- Genevieve-Des-Bois more than three weeks later. Youssef Fofana, who led the group of assailants, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
-- November 15, 2003: a wing of the Merkaz Hatorah School in Gagny, near Paris, was destroyed in an arson attack. No one was killed or injured. Former President Jacques Chirac said “an attack on a Jew is an attack against France.”
-- August 9, 1982: “Chez Jo Goldenberg” restaurant and deli was bombed at lunchtime, killing six, including two American tourists from the Chicago area, and wounding 22 people. This attack was the deadliest aimed at Jews in France since World War II. No arrests were made nor was there ever a claim of responsibility.
-- October 3, 1980: The synagogue Union Liberale Israelite de France on rue Copernic in Paris was bombed by a group of unidentified terrorists on Sabbath day, killing four and injuring 46. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine- Special Operations (PFLP-SO) claimed responsibility.
-- In the past 20 years, several hundred Jewish tombstones have been desecrated in France at cemeteries in Carpentras in 1990, in Herrilsheim in 1992, in Brumath in 2004, in Bar-Le-Duc in 2010.
According to CRIF, there is no record of anti-Semitic murders in France between the end of World War II and 1980.
The French Interior Ministry said there were 389 anti- Semitic threats and acts in France in 2011, fewer than the 466 in 2010. The number of violence acts remained unchanged with 129 last year versus 131 in 2010, the ministry told Bloomberg News.
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