A knife attack on a Jewish school in the French city of Marseilles has been averted thanks to the intervention of school parents volunteering as security guards.
École Yavne (Yavne School) was locked down during the attack at 08:15 this morning, and nobody was injured, with police subsequently alerting all Jewish institutions across the southern city to increase security.
With his attack on the school foiled, the suspect reportedly targeted a kosher supermarket in the hope of stabbing Jewish victims, but he was again prevented by security.
Eventually the police arrived and apprehended the suspect.
The Chairman of the Jewish Agency warned that “the attack in Marseille today is a red flag that should alert us to the antisemitism that is happening below the radar, and is simply waiting to break free once the movement restrictions of the pandemic come to an end.”
We pay tribute to the volunteer security personnel who prevented these heinous attacks, and commend those in Britain and around the world who guard Jewish institutions and put themselves in harm’s way to protect others, sometimes making the ultimate sacrifice.
Marseilles has seen numerous violent antisemitic attacks in recent years, with the fatal stabbing of two women at a train station in 2017 and a machete attack on a Jewish man outside a synagogue in 2016.
It is also not the first attack on a Jewish school or kosher supermarket in the country. In 2012, a gunman murdered a teacher and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse, while a Parisian kosher supermarket was attacked in 2015, leaving four people dead.