Youth attacks Jewish man with machete at Marseille synagogue

Victim sustains light injuries; police apprehend attacker, said to not ‘be in full control of his faculties’

Raoul Wootliff is a former Times of Israel political correspondent and Daily Briefing podcast producer.

A view of Marseille (Jddmano/Wikimedia Commons/File)
A view of Marseille (Jddmano/Wikimedia Commons/File)

A Jewish man was injured Monday morning during an attempted stabbing attack outside a synagogue in the southern French city of Marseille, police sources said.

Binyamin Amsalem, a teacher, sustained light injuries to his hand when a man wielding a machete attacked him when he was on his way to the synagogue for morning prayers, local reports said.

The attacker reportedly threw the knife before fleeing the scene.

Police said the perpetrator was caught 10 minutes later and has been taken into custody.

“The individual does not seem to be in full control of his faculties,” a source close to the matter was quoted as saying. Other sources however, quoted police as saying he was “not mentally unstable.”

Reports said he is 16 years old.

There have been a series of attacks on Jews in France in recent years, including a shooting at a kosher supermarket in Paris in January 2015 that killed four.

In November a teacher at a Jewish school in Marseille was stabbed by three people shouting anti-Semitic obscenities.

In October a rabbi and two Jewish worshipers were stabbed outside a synagogue in Marseille following Shabbat prayers. The knife-wielding assailant could be heard shouting anti-Semitic slurs at the time of the assault.

AFP contributed to this report.

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