A second hostage crisis is unfolding in Paris, French police announced to the media Friday afternoon: Two armed people, reportedly a man and woman, have taken hostages in a kosher grocery store in the French capital.
According to French media, one or two people have been shot and killed at the Hypercasher supermarket in Vincennes with a Kalashnikov-type rifle. At least five hostages have been taken.
“There are at least two dead, maybe more, but for the moment we don’t know,” a source told AFP.
French officials suspect a man responsible for the murder of a policewoman in the street of a southern Paris suburb on Thursday could be the hostage-taker. They have named the two suspects in the Thursday shooting as Amedy Coulibaly and Hayat Boumeddiene. Police described them as “armed and dangerous”.
France has seen a sharp rise in anti-Semitism in recent years, and it flared particularly in 2014 and during Operation Protective Edge, with violent protests in Paris.
In one incident, hundreds of Muslim extremists attacked a major synagogue in Paris, provoking clashes with Jewish youths who rushed to defend the site and worshippers trapped inside.
At the beginning of December there was a shocking robbery and rape attack committed against a young Jewish couple in Paris, which led French politicians to condemn the steep rise of anti-Semitism.
Weeks later, automatic gunfire was sprayed at the David Ben Ichay synagogue on Paris’s 3 Danjon Street. A similar incident occurred against a kosher restaurant in the French capital shortly thereafter.
France led the list of countries from which Jews made aliyah to Israel in 2014, with almost 7,000 new French immigrants, more than double the 3,400 who came last year.