French police are investigating an apparent anti-Semitic attack on a 29-year-man in an apartment building in northeast Paris.
A group that tracks anti-Semitic violence and hate speech in France, BNVCA, sought an investigation, denouncing it as the latest in a string of scattered acts targeting Jews.
The man, identified only as David, said he was attacked by two men of African descent near his parents' apartment building located at the 19th arrondissement of Paris, known as Butte-Chaumont.
According to BNVCA, the two attackers hurled anti-Semitic insults at him, called him a "dirty Jew" and threatened to kill him. The attackers then proceeded to beat him unconscious with their fists and take his watch.
The Paris prosecutor's office said Wednesday it opened an investigation into potential charges of violent theft motivated by reasons of religion.
The man was treated for multiple injuries on his face, throat and legs, BNVCA said.
French-Israeli Member of Parliament Meyer Habib said he had talked to the victim after the attack. "David told me he called the police several times but they did not bother to come to the scene," he said. "I know this neighborhood well. I grew up in it and this event is very worrying. It is increasingly difficult to be a Jew in France.
"Unfortunately, there are entire neighborhoods in the suburbs near Paris that have been 'emptied' of Jews and such events severely damage the community's sense of security," he added.
French police registered 687 anti-Semitic acts last year, from vandalism to threats to physical attacks - a 27% rise from the year before. Reports of anti-Muslim and other racist acts also rose.