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Jewish schools and synagogues in Nice close Friday, fearing terror attacks

‘We’re all feeling threatened,’ says city’s chief rabbi after man shouting Allahu Akbar kills three in a church; Kosher shops in city also stepping up security

French soldiers secure the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice on October 30, 2020 during a tribute to the victims killed by a knife attacker the day before. (Valery Hache/AFP)
French soldiers secure the Notre-Dame de l'Assomption Basilica in Nice on October 30, 2020 during a tribute to the victims killed by a knife attacker the day before. (Valery Hache/AFP)

JTA — The Jewish community of Nice, France, is keeping its 15 synagogues and three schools closed and increasing security around kosher shops following the killing of three people in a church by a man shouting “God is great” in Arabic.

“We have decided to close all the schools tomorrow,” the chief rabbi of Nice, Franck-Daniel Teboul, told Israel’s Channel 13 Thursday. “The synagogues will also be closed. Kosher shops are on alert.”

“We’re all feeling threatened,” he said.

The move follows the beheading of one woman and the fatal stabbing of two others at Nice’s Notre Dame church on Thursday. The perpetrator, later named as Brahim Issaoui, 21, who recently arrived in Europe from Tunisia, shouted “Allahu akbar” before being shot by police.

Yassin, the brother of the Nice assailant Brahim Issaoui, who a day earlier killed three people and wounded several others in the southern French city of Nice, shows his picture in front of the family home in the Tunisian city of Sfax, on October 30, 2020. (Photo by Fethi Belaid / AFP)

“We know this can happen to anyone suddenly, it’s not like before, with terrorist organizations, now it’s individuals at home, watching videos and then they go out to carry out an attack like what happens in Israel,” Avraham Va’anounou, a Chabad emissary in Nice, told Channel 13.

The incident followed protests across the Muslim world against a plan of action against radical Islam being pushed by French President Emmanuel Macron. Also on Thursday, police shot dead a man in Avignon who tried to stab them while shouting about Allah.

“France is under attack from Islamist terrorists,” Macron said after the Nice attack. “We are being attacked [for] our values: Freedom and the refusal to give in to terrorism.”

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