Thousands of people attend a vigil in front of the Hyper Cacher supermarket in Paris to honor the four Jewish men killed by a jihadist gunman during a terror attack on the grocery store yesterday.
Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Phillippe Braham and Francois-Michel Saada were shot dead during an assault at the grocery store by French terrorist Amedy Coulimaly. The killer was coordinating with Cherif and Said Kouachi, the terrorist brothers who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre on Wednesday, killing 12.
In a surprise appearance at the vigil, met with applause, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls says “France without French Jews is no longer France. For a few years now, French Jews have been afraid.”
“Today, we are all Charlie, we are all policemen, we are all Jews of France,” he says.
More than 700,000 people took to the streets across France today in tribute to the 17 people killed in three days of violence by Islamist extremists, the French interior minister says.
From Nice and Marseilles in the south to Besancon in the east and Lille in the north, people poured onto the streets to express their solidarity following Wednesday’s attack on the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 dead. The massacre was followed by the fatal shooting of a police officer on Thursday and the murder of four Jewish hostages during a siege at a kosher supermarket yesterday.
“700,000 people have marched” in cities around France, Bernard Cazeneuve tells reporters on the eve of a huge Paris rally planned for tomorrow due to be attended by a string of world leaders.
FM: Terror wave expected to go on, Jews should move to Israel
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman says the current wave of terror in Europe is expected to continue and that the best security precaution for Jews is immigration to Israel.
“Israel is concerned about two issues: One, the terror attack on the Jewish market came after France already increased its terror alert. Two, this is the third terror attack [against Jews]: in Toulouse [in 2012], at the Jewish museum in Brussels [last May], and now at the kosher market on Friday,” he tells Channel 2.
“Europe has not yet internalized that the foreign fighters coming back [from the Middle East] to European soil or those who have connections to al Qaeda or Daesh [the Arab acronym for the Islamic State] are a real, serious threat,” he says.
It is estimated that almost 1,000 French nationals alone have left to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
“We have a lot of empathy and we identify with the problems [Europe is facing] but we want to demand that security be significantly upgraded at Jewish institutions. There is a lot of room for improvement,” he adds.
Liberman warns that the assessment held by “all security establishments, in Europe, the US and here [in Israel] is that this terror wave will continue. There is always a desire to carry out copycat attacks.”
“The best security precaution [for Jews] may be aliya [immigration] to Israel. I hope that French Jews will start immigrating to Israel in significant numbers,” he says.