Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes in Paris.
A woman lights candles in front of the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket at the Porte de Vincennes in Paris.Reuters

French police arrested a man who tried to burn an Israeli flag outside the Paris kosher supermarket that was attacked by an Islamist gunman, who killed four Jewish shoppers and took many others hostage in January.

The 38-year-old, who has not been named, was caught red-handed as he moved to light the flag by security forces on patrol near the Hyper Cacher store, in northern Paris.

The man, whose motives were not immediately clear, was reportedly known to authorities having a record for "wilful destructions".

On 9 January, a heavily armed self-styled Islamic State (Isis) militant, 32-year-old Amedy Coulibaly, stormed the store near Porte de Vincennes, shooting four people dead.

A tense hostage standoff ensued, ending hours later when special forces gunned the attacker down.

A day earlier, Coulibaly had murdered a policewoman in a southern Paris.

His deadly actions followed that of jihadi brothers Said and Chérif Kouachi, who killed 12 people at the offices of satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that same week. They were also shot dead by police after a separate hostage standoff.

The flag-burning came as Israeli president Reuven Rivlin was meeting with relatives of the Hyper Cacher shooting victims in Israel.

The bodies of Yohan Cohen, 22, Yoav Hattab, 21, Francois-Michel Saada, 64, and Philippe Braham, 40 were buried at a Jerusalem cemetery days after the attack.

France's Jewish community has lamented an increase in anti-Semitism in recent years.