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Saturday 21 October 2017

Outrage as Jewish cemetery vandalised in eastern France

The vandalism of Jewish graves come at a time of growing insecurity among French Jews and amid general religious tensions in Europe
The vandalism of Jewish graves come at a time of growing insecurity among French Jews and amid general religious tensions in Europe
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Hundreds of graves have been vandalised at a Jewish cemetery in eastern France, in what French President Francois Hollande called an "odious and barbaric" anti-Semitic act against French values.

The vandalism comes at a time of growing insecurity among French Jews and amid general religious tensions in Europe.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement on Sunday that a criminal investigation team is at the damaged cemetery in Sarre-Union, near the German border, and authorities will do "everything" to pursue the vandals.

Jewish and Muslim gravesites and places of worship in France see sporadic bouts of vandalism.

The incident this weekend was of an unusually large scale, and hit a cemetery that has been vandalised in the past. Local media reported that about 200 grave stones were knocked down, and a monument to Holocaust victims was damaged.

Mr Hollande said in a statement that "France is determined to fight relentlessly against anti-Semitism and those who want to attack."

Sacha Reingewirtz, president of the Union of Jewish Students of France, said, "We need to stand together in Europe and in all the world wherever jihadis try to threaten democracy."

Irish Independent

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