Just one week after the horrifying attack on the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse, France, in which four Jews, including three children, were killed, another Jewish child has been attacked near the Paris school of the same religious Jewish network. The 12-year-old boy was lightly injured.
Jean-Paul Amoyal, director of the Ozar Hatorah chain of schools, said that because the attack, which included anti-Semitic cries such as “dirty Jew,” did not take place directly in front of the school, the police stationed there since last week’s Toulouse attack did not notice what was happening.
Katia Normal, director of Human Resources for the school, said the boy was hit in the back of the neck on Monday by two teenagers who were several years older than him.
The incident took place after school had been let out and the boy was on his way home.
Meanwhile, following French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s request on Tuesday, Qatar-based news agency Al-Jazeera said it would not air footage filmed by Toulouse killer Mohamed Merah during his three killing sprees between March 11 and 19. The self-proclaimed jihadist, who killed seven people, including a rabbi and three children at the Ozar Hatorah Jewish school, had boasted about having video footage of his attacks while he was holed up in a Toulouse apartment and negotiating with police. The 32-hour siege ended with Merah’s death by gunfire.
Even before police besieged Merah’s house, a video in which he documented the shooting spree at the school was disseminated. Sarkozy joined the victims’ families in urging television networks not to broadcast the graphic video. A source in France said that the video was sent from a town 25 kilometers (15 miles) away from Toulouse, and that Merah is not believed to have sent it.
Sarkozy had asked that the images not be broadcast. “I ask the managers of all television stations that might have these images not to broadcast them under any circumstances, out of respect for the victims, out of respect for the republic,” he said.
Executives at Al-Jazeera decided not to air the video of the rampage at the Jewish school or the murders of the three French paratroopers. An Al-Jazeera source said that the station received a memory card containing the videos and a letter that urging them to “Watch the Al-Qaida attack on France.”
The videos were shot with a helmet-mounted camera and edited. Sound samples of the victims’ cries were spliced in between Arabic music and quotes from the Quran.
Al-Jazeera released a statement on its decision, saying: “In accordance with Al-Jazeera’s code of ethics, given that the video does not add any information that is not already in the public domain, its news channels will not be broadcasting any of its contents.”
Meanwhile, Merah’s estranged father, who divorced his mother in 1994 when Merah was 9, shocked the French public by declaring his intention to sue the French government for killing his son rather than arresting him.
Mohamed Benalel Merah lives in Algeria and claims he will pursue his lawsuit from there. Sarkozy responded to Merah’s claims by reminding him that his son killed seven French citizens and documented the murders. Socialist party leader Francois Hollande reacted with outrage, saying that “the father should shut his mouth.”
Mohamed Merah is set to be buried in Algeria due to his mother’s fear that his grave would be desecrated if it was in Toulouse.
Meanwhile, French police have been trying to apprehend a man they believe to be another accomplice in the attacks, in addition to Merah’s older brother Abdelkader Merah, who is in police custody. The third man is suspected of involvement in the theft of a power scooter used in the attacks.
Merah’s neighbors have claimed that there was an unknown person living in the apartment with him who was not present when the police siege began.