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 Monday, 6 January, 2003, 21:16 GMT
Stabbed Paris rabbi's car torched
Rabbi Gabriel Farhi
Rabbi Farhi was alone at the time of the attack
A Paris rabbi who was stabbed and slightly injured outside his synagogue last week in a suspected anti-Semitic attack has had his car set alight.

Gabriel Farhi's vehicle was scorched in an underground garage of his apartment building on Monday.

Mr Farhi was wounded in the stomach at the synagogue on Friday - reportedly by a masked man who shouted "God is Great".

This odious act arouses indignation

French President Jacques Chirac
Correspondents say attacks against Jews and synagogues have intensified in France since 11 September 2001.

France's Jewish community of some 500,000 endured a spate of anti-Semitic attacks last year, with more than 300 crimes targeting Jews, their schools and synagogues over a period of three months.

The fire consumed the back end of Gabriel Farhi's car, according to police.

French President Jacques Chirac denounced the stabbing during an annual New Year's meeting with leaders of France's Catholic, Protestant and Jewish communities on Monday.

"This odious act arouses indignation," he said.

The French interior minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, is to attend a special service at the synagogue on Wednesday to show solidarity with the Jewish community.

Stabbing

Mr Farhi needed treatment in hospital after being attacked as he left a synagogue in eastern Paris on Friday.

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

The rabbi said 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.

See also:

04 Jan 03 | Europe
06 Oct 02 | Europe
10 Apr 02 | Europe
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