French interior minister vows protection for synagogues on Yom Kippur after terror attack

Marcy Oster

(JTA)– A top French government official visited a synagogue on Sunday to announce that he had ordered extra protection during Yom Kippur services in the wake of a stabbing attack Friday by an alleged Islamic terrorist.

The attack took place on the Paris street where jihadists in 2015 killed 12 people at the satirical Charlie Hebdo magazine, which had published cartoons depicting the Muslim prophet Muhammad. That attacker killed a police officer and four Jews in a kosher supermarket two days later.

“The government has not let its guard down,” Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said at the the Boulogne-Billancourt Synagogue near Paris, the French daily Le Figaro reported. “Jews in particular are the target of Islamist attacks,” he said.

Darmanin said more than 7,000 police and soldiers would be mobilized to protect French synagogues on Yom Kippur, which begins Sunday evening. Many French synagogues are holding in-person services with adjustments because of the coronavirus pandemic, which has required European Jewish institutions to carefully balance security needs and health requirements.