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French leaders condemn three teenagers charged with antisemitic rape

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal
French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal Copyright AP Photo/Thomas Padilla
Copyright AP Photo/Thomas Padilla
By Euronews with AP
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Prime Minister Gabriel Attal called the attack on a young girl in a Paris suburb "absolutely despicable, unbearable and unspeakable".


France is in shock at the news that three boys aged 12 to 13 have been arrested in connection with the rape of a 12-year-old girl, which police say was an act of antisemitic violence.

The incident took place in a suburb of Paris. According to the victim's complaint, she was subjected to verbal abuse, including being called a "dirty Jew" by her attackers. She reported being physically assaulted, including being kicked, slapped, and having her hair pulled.

She further alleged that she was raped multiple times by two of the three teenagers and that one of the three threatened to burn her.

Two of the accused have been taken into custody and given preliminary charges, while the third is under assisted witness status.

Later, lawyer and Jewish leader Elie Korchia said in an interview with French broadcaster BFM that the girl is Jewish and that Palestine was mentioned during the attack.

Leaders speak up

French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that the girl was “raped because she's Jewish."

During an interview with the French television channel TF1 on Wednesday evening, Attal urged leaders of political parties to avoid exacerbating an already critical situation regarding antisemitism in France.

"I call on all political leaders to raise barriers around the issue of antisemitism. Enough of the rhetoric that trivialises, enough of the comments that are tolerated, that create a climate in the country that, I say, is deadly. Unfortunately, since 7 October, antisemitism has been on the rise again in our country."

He called the incident "absolutely despicable, unbearable and unspeakable".

The attack comes in the midst of the campaign for a snap legislative election, and leaders of the various parties reacted quickly — particularly the far left and far right.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of the leftist party La France Insoumise, posted on the social media platform X: "Horrified by this rape in Courbevoie and all that it highlights about the conditioning of male criminal behaviour from an early age, and antisemitic racism.

"Solidarity and sympathy to the victim and those close to her. I hope that the emergency care and support will be properly taken care of. And that this crime and the suffering it causes are not turned into a media spectacle".

Marine Le Pen, who heads the far-right National Rally's group in the National Assembly, took to X to condemn the attack while also criticising the far left, accusing them of exploiting the Israel-Hamas conflict for their own political gains.

"The recent antisemitic attack and rape of a 12-year-old in Hauts-de-Seine are abhorrent," she wrote. "The surge in antisemitic incidents, up 300% compared to the first three months of 2023, should serve as a wake-up call to all French citizens.

"The extreme left's scapegoating of Jews using the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is a genuine threat to societal harmony. Everyone needs to recognise this as we approach 30 June and 7 July."

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