Jewish woman found dead outside her Paris home
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Jewish woman found dead outside her Paris home

Police arrest suspect in death of Sarah Halimi, 66; anti-Semitism watchdog doesn’t rule out racially motivated murder

Illustrative photo of French police officers on patrol near the Louvre Museum in Paris, February 3, 2017 (AFP/Alain Jocard)
Illustrative photo of French police officers on patrol near the Louvre Museum in Paris, February 3, 2017 (AFP/Alain Jocard)

Police in Paris arrested a 27-year-old man in connection with the death of his neighbor, a Jewish woman whose lifeless body was found outside their apartment building.

Sarah Halimi, 66, died Monday night. Police have not said whether they have a theory as to what led to her death or whether she was pushed from her window on Vaucouleurs Street in the crime-ridden 11th district of the French capital, according to a report Wednesday by the Actualite Juive weekly.

The National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism watchdog, however, believes it may have been premeditated murder possibly aggravated by racial hatred, the watchdog’s president, Sammy Ghozlan, told JTA on Wednesday.

Ghozlan, a retired police commissioner, said relatives of Halimi said that she had previously experienced anti-Semitic harassment by a relative of the man under arrest.

Sammy Ghozlan, founder of France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (photo credit: YouTube screenshot)
Sammy Ghozlan, founder of France’s National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism (YouTube screenshot)

“This tragedy may have been the result of a random violent crime by a thug, or maybe there was a background of racial hatred here, or hateful ideology — at this point it’s not known yet,” Ghozlan said.

Halimi’s family wants to have her buried in Jerusalem. The body will undergo an autopsy.

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