French Israelis memorialize murdered Holocaust survivor
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French Israelis memorialize murdered Holocaust survivor

Candlelight vigils for Mireille Knoll held in Jerusalem and Netanya as marches against anti-Semitism take place in France

French Israelis light candles in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in France in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack, seen here during a gathering in Jerusalem on March 28, 2018. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)
French Israelis light candles in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in France in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack, seen here during a gathering in Jerusalem on March 28, 2018. (Menahem Kahana/AFP)

Dozens of French Israelis gathered in downtown Jerusalem Wednesday evening to honor the memory of a Holocaust survivor who was brutally murdered in what police suspect was an anti-Semitic attack.

The partly burned body of Mireille Knoll, 85, was found in her Paris home last weekend.

A group of 80 or so people were seen lighting candles in Paris Square in the capital as marches were held around France to protest anti-Semitism in the wake of the killing. A similar memorial ceremony was held in the coastal city of Netanya.

Thousands, including some French government ministers, attended a march in Paris.

French Israelis attend a gathering in the city of Netanya in memory of Mireille Knoll, an 85-year-old Jewish woman murdered in her home in France in what police believe was an anti-Semitic attack, seen here on March 28, 2018. (Jack Guez/AFP)

Earlier Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron attended Knoll’s funeral, where he said she was killed because she was Jewish and vowed to fight anti-Semitism.

Knoll’s attacker “murdered an innocent and vulnerable woman because she was Jewish, and in doing so profaned our sacred values and our history,” he said at the ceremony in the Parisian suburb of Bagneux.

Knoll, who escaped the mass deportation of Jews from France during World War II by fleeing abroad, was stabbed 11 times in an attack that the perpetrators apparently tried to conceal by setting fire to the apartment.

She was found dead by firefighters.

A neighbor in his twenties and a homeless youth have been charged.

A photograph of Mireille Knoll and flowers are placed on the fence surrounding her building in Paris on March 28, 2018. (Francois Guillot/AFP)

The brutal killing of the frail octogenarian — she was suffering from Parkinson’s disease, one of her sons said — shocked France’s Jewish community.

The accused neighbor had been convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl, while sources close the inquiry said he and his accomplice had given conflicting accounts under questioning, each accusing the other of carrying out the attack.

Agencies contributed to this report.

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