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Bodies of France school shooting victims to be sent to Israel

Published: March 20, 2012 | 7:30 am
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Paris — The bodies of the four victims of the Jewish school shooting in France will be flown to Israel for burial.
“The government of Israel has decided to transfer the coffins to Israel as soon as possible, with the cooperation and assistance of Israel’s representatives in France,” the Israeli foreign ministry said in a statement.
Authorities did not say when the bodies would be transferred.
Meanwhile, representatives from France’s Jewish and Muslim communities will meet with President Nicolas Sarkozy on Tuesday, when a moment of silence is planned to remember the victims.
The country’s southwest region remained on the highest possible security alert level, after a teacher and three children were gunned down at the Jewish school in Toulouse on Monday.

The teacher was shot dead with his two children, and the daughter of the school’s director was killed in front of him.
The incident at the Ozar Hatorah school marked the third time in a less than two weeks that a gunman on a motorcycle has fired on minorities in the region.
One of the guns used Monday was also used in killings of French soldiers of north African origin on March 11 and March 15, said Elisabeth Allannic, a spokeswoman for judicial authorities in Paris.
A court in Paris has opened an investigation into all three killings, under anti-terrorism powers.
The gunman pulled up in front of the Jewish school just before 8 a.m. and started shooting, authorities said. He got close enough to shoot his victims in the head, local journalist Gil Bousquet said.
The gunman wore a motorcycle helmet and fled on a motor scooter after the shootings, interior ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said — the same method used in the earlier soldiers’ shootings.
France, which has one of the largest Jewish populations in Europe, had 389 reported acts of anti-Semitism in 2011, according to Representative Council of Jewish Institutions in France, known by the French acronym CRIF.
The group later issued a statement saying that, while it is too early to determine definitively the motive for the “horrible” crime, it appears it’s a case of anti-Semitism. It called for increased security at places of worship and study as the investigation continues.
Security heightened in U.S. synagogues
Police in New York, Washington and San Francisco all said they plan to increase patrols of synagogues and Jewish institutions, with New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly citing fears someone might stage a “copy-cat” attack. But he and the city’s mayor stressed there is no “specific” intelligence indicating an active threat there.
“Just because there’s something that happens there, doesn’t mean there are more threats here. But we take everything very seriously,” said Mayor Mike Bloomberg.


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