French court jails stabber of Marseille Jew for 4 years

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — A man who stabbed a Jew and assaulted two other Jews in Marseille was sentenced to four years is prison.

The Correctional Tribunal of Marseille sentenced Farid Haddouche, 32, on Wednesday for aggravated assault he committed early in the morning of Oct. 24, the France3 television channel reported. Haddouche’s victims, a rabbi, the rabbi’s son and another Jew who was stabbed, were returning from the synagogue when he assaulted them.

Haddouche was deemed unfit to stand trial because of mental issues following a psychiatric evaluation, but further inquiries led to his indictment later that month.

The Marseille branch of CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, request police and justice officials re-examine Haddouche’s case following reports that he shouted anti-Semitic slogans during the attack. The victims told Michelle Teboul, president of the local CRIF branch, that Haddouche had consciously targeted them because they were Jewish.

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Before assaulting the Jews, he hurled a canister containing tear gas at a municipal employee. He was inebriated at the time of the assault. The rabbi and his son were lightly wounded while the third victim sustained medium injuries.

In  a court testimony, Haddouche’s mother said her son had no history of mental illness and was sane to the best of her knowledge.

In addition to the four-year sentence, Haddouche was given a suspended sentence of 18 months.

The National Bureau for Vigilance against anti-Semitism, a Drancy-based watchdog, praised in a statement the judiciary for imposing the punishment, which the Bureau deemed “very dissuasive” to others contemplating assaulting Jews.

On Nov. 18 another Jew was stabbed and moderately injured in Marseille by a man who was wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the symbol of the ISIS terrorist group. Police have no suspect in custody in connection with that assault.

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