Jews threatened in France and Belgium over Shavuot holiday

In one of several incidents over the Jewish holiday weekend, French police destroyed a neo-Nazi cell accused of plotting attacks on places of worship.

By World Israel News Staff  

Several incidents in which Jews in Antwerp were threatened were recorded over the Shavuot holiday weekend, according to the CKJGA “Shmira” Jewish patrol group of Antwerp, as cited by the Arutz 7 website.

The most serious incident apparently involved a man armed with three knives who pretended to be Jewish. He reportedly tried to enter a synagogue in the Belgian city during the holiday before being apprehended.

“A suspicious person with Iraqi roots tried to enter the Van den Nest synagogue on Monday morning walking next to his bike and carrying a bag. The suspect wore a kippah on his head and pretended to be Jewish,” said the report.

“The Shmira volunteers stopped him before entering to conduct a safety questioning,” said the patrol group, according to Arutz 7. “After the questioning, they requested [that] police check him. He seemed to be carrying two small and one bigger knife,” said the statement.

“Police arrested the suspect on grounds of carrying a forbidden weapon and trying to get into the synagogue,” it added.

In another incident, Shmira volunteers noticed a “Middle Eastern male” who “followed and threatened Jewish people on the street,” according to Arutz 7.

“He was stopped by the volunteers patrolling the area and was later arrested by police,” the group reportedly said, adding that “the suspect lives outside Antwerp and had no legitimate reason to be in the vicinity of our community.”

According to the group, the same suspect had “verbally assaulted” community members at an event a few weeks earlier but was “sent away after being questioned by Shmira volunteers and police,” Arutz 7 reported.

Meanwhile, French police “smashed a neo-Nazi cell accused of plotting attacks on Jewish or Muslim places of worship,”  judicial sources said on Tuesday, according to The Local,  a multi-regional English-language digital news publisher.

Five people who were planning attacks against several targets, including the annual dinner of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF) and Muslim places of worship, were arrested, said The Local.