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 Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 04:00 GMT
Rabbi stabbed at Paris synagogue
Rabbi Gabriel Farhi
Rabbi Farhi was alone at the time of the attack
A Jewish rabbi needed treatment in hospital after being attacked as he left a synagogue in eastern Paris on Friday.

Rabbi Gabriel Farhi was stabbed in the stomach by an unknown assailant who then fled the scene.

Mr Farhi, 34, said his wound was "large but not deep".

The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe
Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe: Stabbed in October
The rabbi told the French news agency AFP that he had earlier received a threatening letter referring to Jihad - the Muslim holy war - against enemies of the Palestinians.

The liberal Jewish MJLF movement of which Mr Farhi is a prominent member said the letter warned that "the blood of our Palestinian brothers will be avenged".

It also contained a threat to set fire to the synagogue, which was already seriously damaged by fire last May.

Mayor's support

"Someone rang at the door, I opened and a man a bit shorter than me... wearing a motorbike helmet with its visor down said Allahu Akbar [God is Great] and then stabbed me," Mr Farhi told AFP.

He said the stranger had a perfect French accent.

Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe, himself a recent stabbing victim, said in a statement he was "shocked by this hateful attack".

He said he hoped the attacker would be bought to justice quickly, and expressed sympathy for Mr Farhi's family and the Jewish community.

On 6 October, Mr Delanoe underwent emergency surgery after being stabbed in the abdomen at City Hall, during the French capital's Sleepless Night festival.

See also:

06 Oct 02 | Europe
10 Apr 02 | Europe
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