Israel, French Jewish Community Express Shock Over Toulouse Shooting

Foreign Ministry expresses outrage over killings in Jewish school in southern French city; French chief rabbi says he is ‘horrified’ by the attack; White House condemns attack.

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Israel and the French Jewish community expressed shock Monday over the attack on a Toulouse Jewish school that killed four and left one seriously wounded.

A spokesman for Israel's foreign ministry, Yigal Palmor, expressed outrage at the killings."We are following with great shock reports coming from Toulouse and we trust the French authorities will solve this crime and bring those responsible to justice."

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Opposition leader Tzipi Livni also responded to the attack and said, “The attack on the French Jewish school is shocking and painful. Israel and the Jewish people are partners in the struggle against anti-Semitism and hate crimes.”

Israeli MK Danny Dannon announced the parliamentary Committee for Aliya, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs, of which he is chairman, will hold an emergency hearing on Tuesday to discuss the school shooting. “The shooting at the Jewish school is a red light for the entire Jewish people the world over. The world’s countries should unite to fight against attacks on Jews and to work together to destroy the seeds of anti-Semitic terror that are being sown around the world,” he said.

Meanwhile. French Chief Rabbi Gilles Bernheim said he was “horrified” by the attack.

CRIF, the umbrella Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions, expressed shock over the Toulouse shooting, and called on the public to act "with responsibility and restraint" in light of the events.

“We have no doubt that the attack was anti-Semitic – It is certain. Killing children from close range just because they are Jewish is an unimaginable horror. These are innocent children,” Said Meir Habib, Deputy Chairman of CRIF.

The Conference of European Rabbis called on the French government to increase security on Jewish institutions.

"We call on the French authorities to take all possible steps to make sure the assailant will be brought to justice," said Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the president of the Conference of European Rabbis.

"What tragic, awful news. Our prayers are with the grieving school community, as we hope for the full recovery of those injured,” said American Jewish Committee Executive Director David Harris.

The National Security Council of the White House released a statement Monday condemning the morning's "horrific attack". "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of the victims, and we stand with a community in grief", said the statement. "We join the Government of France in condemning this unprovoked and outrageous act of violence in the strongest possible terms."

A man comforts schoolchildren after a gunman opened fire at a Jewish school killing several people in Toulouse, France, March 19, 2012.Credit: AP



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