Nice’s 25,000-strong Jewish community spent a solemn Shabbat reflecting on the city’s first ever terrorist outrage, with one Jewish woman among the 85 dead and five other Jewish residents among the hundreds injured during the Bastille Day celebrations.
Raymonde Mamane, 77, lost her battle for life on Sunday, after she was hit by the 30-year old Tunisian man who ploughed his lorry through a promenade packed full of people watching fireworks on Thursday night, shooting as he went.
Her 80-year old sister Clara is understood to be in a coma, after having both legs amputated.
Strictly Orthodox news outlets Hamodia and Kikar HaShabat carried tributes to Mamane, with a family friend saying: “She was a wonderful woman, dedicated to her family… The entire community is in shock. Who would have believed that we would be here today eulogizing her? It is a huge loss.”
As of Monday morning, 85 people were still in hospital, 18 listed as critical. Only 35 bodies had been formally identified.
Jewish groups across Europe drew immediate parallels with day-to-day life in Israel, with a group representing French-speaking Belgian Jews arguing that a lack of reporting on incidents in Israel has contributed to a lack of preparedness in Europe.
Speaking about car-ramming, a spokesman for the Flemish Region’s Forum of Jewish Organizations said: “By ignoring this method of terrorism in Israel… one is, regrettably, confronted in a horrific manner with reality.”
The Board of Deputies said: “We know only too well of this kind of attack because of its repeated use in Israel,” while in Spain, the pro-Israel ACOM lobby said “the model used in France is a lethal technique constantly used by Palestinian terrorists”.
In the last year and a half, Israel has seen 34 car-ramming attacks by Palestinians, killing three and injuring 77. It was the most deadly form of attack after stabbing and shooting.
Israel’s ambassador to France, Aliza Bin Noun, said: “Israel stands with the French people and their pain and is ready to help,” while Chabad Rabbi Yossef Yitschok Pinson said: “We will not let this affect us, we will not let fear affect or damage the life of our community.”
The Board of Deputies said: “On a day when the French were celebrating their national day, it is beyond tragic that today we will once again be writing to the Embassy to express our solidarity, resolve and friendship after this heinous attack.”
The organisation said it had written to CRIF, its French equivalent, “to take forward our continuing dialogue on matters of interest and concern”.