A Jewish family that was ambushed by three attackers in their home outside Paris and threatened with execution have told of their experience during the ordeal.
Jewish community leader – 78-year-old Roger Pinto (pictured) – his wife and son were beaten and robbed of jewels, cash and credit cards early last Friday morning, as Breitbart Jerusalem reported. France’s Interior Minister Gérard Collomb has already said “the motivation for this cowardly act appears to be directly linked to their religion.”
Now the family has spoken out in an effort to help authorities catch their assailants.
“As I struggled, the first man threw me down,” Mrs. Pinto told the French Jewish newspaper Tribune Juive. “He hit me. I really thought he wanted to rape me. The second one kicked me.”
Mr. Pinto, a leading pro-Israel campaigner, was beaten unconscious but remembers regaining awareness and hearing a gang member tell him, “You are Jewish, we know that the Jews have a lot of money and you will give us what you have. If you do not give us what we ask you, we’ll kill you.”
He outlined more details about the men who entered the family home at Livry-Gargan, outside of Paris: “The three men had a screwdriver and a knife, which they constantly threatened us with. They threatened to kill us. That was unbearable. These thugs took our credit cards, took all the goods we had, jewelry from my wife.”
In an interview with i24NEWS, Mrs. Pinto described anti-Semitic threats made during the attack.
“They repeated several times: You are Jewish, you have money,” she said. “We have to take from the rich to give to the poor”, Mrs. Pinto said the aggressors repeated.
A statement published by Actualite Juive on Monday revealed the Representative Council of the Jewish Institutions of France (Crif) strongly condemned the “very violent and anti-Semitic aggression” against the family.
President of the Crif, Francis Kalifat, said “this odious act is indeed proof if need be, that the Jews of France are particularly threatened on the street and for some time within their very home even more disturbing. After the atrocious murder of Sarah Halimi at home, this new aggression must lead the authorities of our country to a heightened vigilance and exemplary and dissuasive sanctions.”
Jews have been targeted in previous attacks in Paris in recent years. In a list compiled by the BBC these include:
- Sarah Halimi, a 65-year-old Orthodox Jew, was murdered in her apartment by a Muslim neighbour in April, in the 11th arrondissement (district)
- Two Jewish brothers were cut and racially abused in a street attack in Seine-Saint-Denis in February
- An Islamist gunman killed four people in a Jewish supermarket during the Paris attacks in January 2015, which included the massacre at Charlie Hebdo magazine
- In December 2014 three armed burglars broke into a Jewish home in Créteil, southeastern Paris, and tied up a young man and his girlfriend, whom they raped. The family’s lawyer said the thieves had told the victims “you Jews have got money”.
- A gang kidnapped and tortured Ilan Halimi, 23, in January 2006, then left him to die near Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois station. Gang leader Youssouf Fofana was given life imprisonment in 2009.
French police said they had opened a formal inquiry into illegal detention, theft and extortion with violence motivated by the religious affiliation of the victims.
French Jews, who constitute the largest Jewish community outside of Israel and the United States, continue to leave France, mainly for Israel. Since 2006, 40,000 French Jews have left the Republic.
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