French PM’s nephew and two friends stabbed in Eilat

Three vacationers found lying on promenade after suspected Israeli gang provoked and then attacked them; all since released from the hospital and now back in France

Sue Surkes is The Times of Israel's environment reporter

The promenade in the southern Israeli city of Eilat, December 20, 2012. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
The promenade in the southern Israeli city of Eilat, December 20, 2012. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

The French prime minister’s nephew was among three tourists stabbed repeatedly by a gang of men in the southern seaside resort of Eilat last week.

Police on patrol found the vacationers lying on the promenade last Wednesday with stab wounds to their lower bodies, the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper reported Monday.

The injured were taken to the city’s Yoseftal Medical Center.

One was released immediately and the two others were released the following day. All were flown back to France on Friday, with the help of the French consul, who traveled to the city.

A spokesman for Eilat police told Yedioth that the identity of Edouard Philippe’s 25-year-old nephew emerged during police questioning.

The visitors said that a group of men — whom police suspect are Israeli — had tried to provoke them before stabbing them viciously and running off.

While Yedioth reported that the men were stabbed “for no reason,” overseas media appeared to link the attack to ostensible anger in Israel over the French refusal to accept US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December.

The Daily Telegraph also noted Philippe’s controversial support for the publication of a series of anti-Semitic essays by the author Louis-Ferdinand Destouches, also known as Celine, despite concern from the country’s Jewish community.

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