France: Muslim sets Holocaust survivor’s home on fire, stabs her to death

Grandmother was stabbed to death 11 times by a Muslim neighbor she knew well, who made sure to set fire to her home and left us not even one object, a letter, a photograph, to remember her by. All we have are our tears and each other.”

March 27: 2 charged

Times of Israel, March 26, 2018.

French authorities said Monday that the brutal killing of an 85-year-old Jewish woman, a Holocaust survivor, in Paris was is being investigated as an anti-Semitic murder.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said two suspects have been put in custody. It said it was asking investigating judges to charge the pair with premeditated murder of a vulnerable person for anti-Semitic motives.

This comes after the French foreign minister, who is visiting Israel, said it was likely that the motive was anti-Semitic, and that his country must continue to fight against anti-Semitism.

Jean-Yves Le Drian, meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, said he had a “moving and difficult moment” when he heard about “the outrageous murder” Sunday of Holocaust survivor Mirelle Kanol in Paris, just after ending his visit to Yad Vashem.

“We cannot yet say if the motive for the murder was anti-Semitism, but it is reasonable to assume,” Le Drian said. “Therefore, this only strengthens the fact that this struggle has not ended, and that we will need to continue fighting against anti-Semitism.”

Two men have been arrested over the killing of Kanol, whose stabbed body was found after her Paris apartment was set ablaze, police sources said.

One suspect was identified as a 29-year-old man. No details were given on the second suspect.

An autopsy conducted on Kanol, who lived alone, showed her charred body also had at least 11 stab wounds.

A forensic examination of the apartment showed that an arsonist started a fire in at least five distinct areas of that space, the report also said.

The Paris prosecutor’s office said that it had not yet determined a motive, but “is not excluding any hypothesis.”

“A preliminary examination of the elements of the crime does not reveal an anti-Semitic characteristic, but this possibility has not been discounted as police investigate further,” said a spokesperson for the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ), which works closely with the French police.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA, wrote in a statement Sunday that the suspected murder “is reminiscent of the crime committed against Sarah Halimi,” a 66-year-old Jewish teacher and physician, whom prosecutors say was murdered by her Muslim neighbor in April, partly in connection with her Jewish identity

A granddaughter of Kanol, Noa Goldfarb, wrote on Facebook that her grandmother was murdered by a neighbor who is a Muslim.

“Twenty years ago, I left Paris knowing that neither my future nor that of the Jewish People is to be found there,” wrote Goldfarb, who lives in Herzliya, Israel. “But who would’ve thought that I was leaving my relatives where terrorism and cruelty would lead to such a tragedy. Grandmother was stabbed to death 11 times by a Muslim neighbor she knew well, who made sure to set fire to her home and left us not even one object, a letter, a photograph, to remember her by. All we have are our tears and each other.”

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