Leaders of French Jewry paid their condolences to the victims of a suspected Islamist who took hostages at a supermarket near Toulouse, killing at least three and injuring 10 people.
A statement Friday by CRIF, the umbrella group of French Jewish communities, said the incident in the town of Trebes “reawakens in us the fear and pain that we felt on Jan. 9, 2015,” when an Islamist holed up with automatic weapons inside the HyperCacher supermarket in Paris killed four Jews before police broke in and shot him to death.
In Trebes, the suspected hostage taker, a man in his 20s that the media reported was of Moroccan descent, also was killed Friday in a break-in at the Super U store where he was holed up with a firearm, Le Monde reported. He had shouted that he is affiliated with the Islamic State, or ISIS, terrorist group, the police commissioner of Carcassonne near Trebes told media, according to Le Monde.
The suspect demanded the release of Salah Abdeslam, who is standing trial in Belgium for his alleged role in terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015, Le Monde reported.
Tzipi Hotovely, Israel’s deputy foreign minister, said in a statement that Israel conveyed “thoughts and prayers with the hostages and their families.” Israel and France, she said, “share values of freedom and liberty and are cooperating in the global fight against terror.”
While life in Israel has returned to normal and hopes are high that Britain is set for a summer without restrictions thanks to vaccines, for billions around the world there is no such imminent light at the end of the tunnel. In the majority of countries around the globe, particularly the poorest, the vaccine rollout has barely kicked off.
That's why Jewish News, the leading source of news and opinion for the entire UK community, is throwing its full weight behind UNICEF’s VaccinAid campaign by using this platform usually reserved for encouraging donations towards our own journalism to instead urge our readers around the globe to perform the greatest mitzvah: saving a life.
We have never before done this for any charity fundraiser but it's hard to recall a campaign that affects so many people, and indeed an entire planet aching for a return to normality. Just like the Chief Rabbi and Rachel Riley, we hope to boost the mission to deliver two billion vaccines, 165 million treatments and 900 million test kits around the world by the end of this year.
Please donate as much as you can, in the spirit of the Talmudic sages: “to save one life is to save the world entire”