by: Ilse Strauss
Friday, 30 October 2020 | Israeli leaders joined a chorus of international outrage as France reels in the aftermath of a grisly terror attack in which three people were murdered—including one who was beheaded—in a church in Nice.
“Israel unites in shock and condemnation of the atrocious attack at the Notre Dame Basilica in Nice,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted. “All civilized peoples must stand in full solidarity with France against the scourge of terrorism. There can be no justification or equivocation.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz offered Israel’s “deep condolences,” while Miriam Feirberg, mayor of Netanya—Nice’s Israeli twin city with a large percentage of Jews who made aliyah (immigration to Israel) from France, hoisted the French flag on Netanya’s bridges as a sign of sympathy.
In what French President Emmanuel Macron branded an “Islamist terrorist attack,” a knife-wielding 21-year-old Tunisian who arrived in Europe a few weeks ago, entered the Basilica of Notre Dame in the heart of the Mediterranean resort city yesterday morning.
By the time the French police arrived on the scene, the terrorist had beheaded a woman inside the church and stabbed to death a male church employee. Another woman later succumbed to her wounds after she fled the church and sought shelter in a nearby eatery.
According to Nice Mayor Christian Estrosi, the police shot and wounded the terrorist. “He kept repeating ‘Allahu Akbar’ (Allah is Greater)” even while medicated and en route to the hospital, Estrosi said.
Macron yesterday raised the terror alert level to maximum and bolstered troops surveying churches in France from 3,000 to 7,000.
“Quite clearly, it is France that is being attacked,” Macron said.
Jewish community leaders echoed Macron’s sentiment. “The Islamists are waging war against us!” Gil Taieb, the vice president of the CRIF umbrella group of French Jewish communities, tweeted. “We stand united against Islamist barbarism.”
In the aftermath of yesterday’s attack, all synagogues and Jewish schools in Nice shut their doors for the weekend.
“Terrorism doesn’t differ between religions and all of us feel threatened,” Daniel Teboul, the chief rabbi of Nice told Israel’s Channel 13 news. “We made a decision to close all schools tomorrow. Synagogues will be closed and kosher shops will be on alert.”
This is but the latest in a bevy of terror attacks across France over the past weeks. Tensions have been simmering since the start of the trail of 14 suspected accomplices in the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo massacre in which 12 people were killed. The attack—hailed as revenge over the republication of a series of cartoons featuring Mohammed—served as the springboard for a subsequent wave of jihadist attacks in which over 250 people perished.
Yesterday, an assailant shouting about Allah attempted to stab police officers in Avignon. The terrorist was shot and killed. Police also arrested an Afghan man brandishing a 30-centimeter (12-inch) knife as he was about to board a tram.
On September 29, a Pakistani teen attacked two people with a meat cleaver in Paris outside the former Charlie Hebdo offices, and two weeks ago, a Chechen teen beheaded history teacher Samuel Paty outside his Paris school in an apparent revenge attack after the teacher showed his students some of the Mohammed cartoons in a class dealing with free speech.
Posted on October 30, 2020
Source: (Bridges for Peace, October 30, 2020)
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