An 85-year-old French-Jewish Holocaust survivor was found dead on Friday in a burnt-out apartment in Paris having been stabbed 11 times. A French security group says “everything suggests” it was an antisemitic crime.
The incident, the Le Parisien newspaper said, took place at the woman’s home on Avenue Philippe Auguste in the French capital’s 11th arrondissement – the same street where a 65-year-old Jewish lady, Sarah Halimi, was beaten and thrown out of her apartment window in an Islamist antisemitic attack last year.
A French-Jewish communal security organization, the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Antisemitism (BNVCA), said five fires had been set at the apartment, and the victim — named as “Mireille K.” — was also stabbed 11 times.
The BNVCA said a suspect was being questioned by police.
The victim had reportedly filed police complaints against a local resident who had threatened to burn her.
The BNVCA called for authorities to find and bring the perpetrator to justice, and also determine whether it was an antisemitic crime, “as everything suggests.”
In a public statement on Sunday, French-Jewish representative group Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France (CRIF) called for “total transparency in the current investigation, so that the motives for this barbaric crime are known of all as fast as possible.”
The group’s president, Francis Kalifat, said he spoke for a long time with the children of the victim, and expressed condolences on behalf of the Jewish community.
During his discussions with the Prefect of Police and the Office of the President of the Republic, Kalifat expressed the “emotion and the deep concern of the Jewish population of France,” according to the statement.
Last year, the French-Jewish community was shaken by the murder in Paris of 65-year-old pensioner Sarah Halimi. Halimi was beaten in her apartment, also in the 11th arrondissement, by an Islamist assailant and thrown from a third-floor window.
Last month, a French court ruled that the Halimi case would be prosecuted as an antisemitic hate crime after attempts by authorities were made to cover-up the motive of the attacker.