Alain Ghozland, 73, a French Jewish politician from outside of Paris, was found dead in his apartment on Tuesday, with his body showing multiple lacerations that appeared to be stab wounds, according to reports.
Mr. Ghozland was a municipal councillor in Creteil, and initial reports suspect he was murdered, but police have no leads regarding his assailant, L’Express reports.
Though an official autopsy has not been concluded, early reports state his apartment was ransacked and his body was covered with stab wounds. There are also reports that his car is missing.
Le Figaro, speaking with police, reported there were signs that led officials to believe that his apartment was broken into.
The Algeria-born French politician was found by his brother, who started to look for him after he failed to show up to synagogue on Monday. His family is concerned the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism, according to the Times of Israel.
Mr. Ghozland was described by the Conseil Représentatif des Institutions Juives de France (CRIF) as a “prominent leader of the local Jewish community.”
“People are upset. They do not know what to think and ask a lot of questions,” a relative told the media.
Mr. Ghozland shared a picture on his Facebook in solidarity against the Paris attacks on November 14th 2015. A friend replied, “Thank god you’re okay”.
His apparent murder is just the latest incident reportedly targeting French Jews, who continue to leave the country in droves. An unprecedented number of French Jews immigrated to Israel in 2015. An estimated 8,000 left for Israel in 2015, 1,000 more than the 7,000 French Jews who left the country for the Jewish state in 2014. Anti-Semitism is predominantly cited as the major reason for these citizens leaving their homeland.
In February 2015, an Islamic gunman targeted Jews at a Kosher supermarket in Paris, leaving four French Jews dead and others wounded.
In 2014, a Jewish woman in Creteil was raped and robbed after armed men broke into her apartment, who said they committed the act “because you are Jewish.”
In 2012, in another prominent anti-Semitic murder, three Jewish children and their teacher were among seven people killed by a French Muslim man in Toulouse.
There will be a memorial service held for Mr. Ghozland on Tuesday at the Grande Synagogue du Huit Mail in Creteil.