Assailants Throw Molotov Cocktails at Jewish School Near Paris

CRETEIL - Attackers threw Molotov cocktails at a Jewish school in suburban Paris, setting a classroom on fire, police said Monday. In a separate incident, three people were taken into custody for allegedly throwing stones at a nearby synagogue.

Police reinforced security around Jewish sites in the Creteil suburb south of the capital following the attacks Sunday at the Ozar Hatorah school and the Fredj Halimi synagogue, a police official said.

No one was injured in the attacks, the official said. It was unclear whether the two incidents were linked.

The European Jewish Congress immediately condemned the attacks, saying they were the latest in a series of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe.

"By throwing three Molotov cocktails at a Jewish school, one of which wrecked an entire classroom, and by vandalizing a place of worship ... the perpetrators made clear the anti-Semitic nature of these acts," the group said in a statement.

Patrick Klugman, president of the Union of Jewish Students in France, said they planned a demonstration outside the school Tuesday to condemn the violence.

"The incidents in Creteil conclude a dark year in the history of Jews in France," he said in a statement. "We hope 2002 will witness a greater national awareness in the face of these intolerable acts."

A wave of anti-Semitic violence broke out in France in the autumn of 2000 after fighting between Israelis and Palestinians escalated in the Middle East. In most cases, incendiary devices were lobbed at synagogues. There are an estimated 600,000 Jews living in France.