Three Jewish youths on their way to the Paris branch of the Bnei Akiva movement were attacked by a group of teens on Saturday, a short while before the end of the Sabbath. The three youths were hospitalized for a day due to the facial fractions caused by stones that were thrown at them by the attackers.
The boys were walking through Paris' 19th Arrondissement, home to 20,000 of the French capital's Jews. Raphi Zeush, a Jewish Agency and Bnei Akiva envoy to the city told Ynet, "Five Muslim and African youths came and threw chestnuts and cobblestones at them.
"One of the Jewish boys asked them to stop, and the French teens started cursing at him. He responded with curses and they called their friends. Another 10 teens came, some of them wielding brass knuckles, and a fight broke out."
Raphael Haddad, the student group's president, said that one of the Jewish youths suffered a broken nose and another a fractured cheekbone, while all three had considerable contusions.
The three filed a complaint with police after their release from the hospital, Haddad said. Paris police headquarters said officials were investigating and looking for the assailants. It said police could not immediately confirm the attack was motivated by anti-Semitism.
However, Interior Minister Michele Alliot-Marie issued a statement saying she "strongly condemned the anti-Semitic violence."
In an interview with Ynet Tirey Nebet, father of Dan, one of the three who were attacked, said he had spent recent hours in a Paris police station explaining the occurrence to the authorities. He was not optimistic about bringing the felons to justice.
"Clearly they won't do anything because they can't," he said. "There are almost 10 million Arabs and blacks in France, many of them residing in Paris."
The three boys were assaulted in a street in northern Paris where another Jewish teenager was beaten in June. France has western Europe's largest population of both Jews and Muslims, and the nation faced a surge in anti-Semitic crime starting in 2000 amid a flare-up of Middle East tension.
AP contributed to this report