A teenager has attacked a Jewish teacher who was on his way to work in Marseille, wounding him slightly with a machete, in what police said was an anti-Semitic attack.
There have been a number of anti-Semitic and Islamophobic attacks after seven coordinated terror attacks in Paris on 13 November 2015 that killed at least 129 people amplified tensions in the country.
The 35-year-old teacher sustained wounds to his back and one hand in the incident near the Franco-Hebraic Institute on Monday (11 January).
According to the Paris-based Crif (Conseil Représentatif des Institutions juives de France), French Jewry's political umbrella organisation, the Jewish school teacher "was pursued for 50 metres, on his way to work".
After the attack, the adolescent – said to be around 15 years old – finally ran away, leaving his machete on the spot. Police arrested him 10 minutes later. "The attacker clearly claimed his attack in the name of Islam and his hatred towards Jews," the Crif said in a statement.
A source told 20 Minutes the anti-Semitic attack had been committed by a "clearly very excited individual".
France's interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, showed his "support for the victim of the revolting anti-Semitic aggression in Marseille" in a tweet.
The mayor of the city's 9th and 10th arrondissements, Lionel Royer-Perreaut, openly condemned the attack, and ordered the Regional Prefect and the police commissioner to "reinforce security of citizens in the 9th and 10th arrondissement, in particular around public spaces and schools".
The attack comes two months after another assault, north of Marseille. In November 2015, a history teacher in a Jewish school was injured with a knife by three individuals who uttered anti-Semitic remarks and expressed their support for Islamic State. The teacher, who was wearing a kippa, was walking out of the Yavné community center, in the 13th district, when he was attacked. The centre includes both a school and a synagogue.
In what appeared to be a retaliation attack, a young Muslim woman was also attacked in the southern city by a man who reproached her for being a terrorist because she was wearing a veil as she walked out of an underground station. She was slightly injured after the man punched her in the thorax with a sharp object described as a cutter.
A month earlier, in October, a disturbed person assaulted two worshippers and a rabbi near a synagogue in Marseille. Shouting anti-Semitic remarks, the attacker injured one of the men with a knife.