• France edition
 
JEWISH SCHOOL SHOOTING
Worldwide condemnation of school killings
BFM TV screenshot

Worldwide condemnation of school killings

Published: 20 Mar 2012 09:11 GMT+01:00
Updated: 20 Mar 2012 09:11 GMT+01:00

The United Nations and Israel led world condemnation of the shooting of three children and a teacher at a Jewish school in France on Monday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it "despicable murder".

Children aged four, five and seven, and a 30-year-old religious education teacher, the father of two of the young victims, were shot dead on Monday as they arrived for classes at the Ozar Hatorah school in the southwestern city of Toulouse.

The killer, riding a powerful scooter, is suspected to be the same gunman who shot dead three soldiers of Arab origin in two incidents earlier this month in Toulouse and nearby Montauban.

"In France today there was a despicable murder of Jews, including small children," Netanyahu told a meeting of his Likud party.

"It is too early to determine exactly what the background to the murderous act was, but we certainly cannot rule out the option that it was motivated by violent and murderous anti-Semitism."

On the other side of the Middle East conflict, Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat also expressed his outrage, saying: "We strongly condemn all terrorist operations, and in particular the attack today in Toulouse."

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the killings "in the strongest possible terms".

Ban was "saddened by the tragic deaths" of the three children and the father of two of the dead children in the shooting in the southwest city of Toulouse, said UN spokesman Martin Nesirky.

President Nicolas Sarkozy suspended his re-election campaign until at least Wednesday, as police probed the third fatal shooting in the Toulouse area in eight days.

"In attacking children and a Jewish teacher, the anti-Semitic motive of the attack appears to be obvious," Sarkozy said in a nationally televised address after he returned to Paris from the scene of the shooting.

In Washington, the White House condemned the "outrageous" and "unprovoked" shooting. "We were deeply saddened to learn of the horrific attack this morning," said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

New York police beefed up security around synagogues and Jewish institutions.

The dead teacher was named by a relative as Jonathan Sandler, originally from Jerusalem, who had moved to France last year. He had dual Franco-Israeli nationality.

European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso said: "I strongly condemn this odious crime and express the horror that this blind violence inspires. Nothing is more intolerable than the murder of innocent children."

The Vatican also voiced outrage, with spokesman Federico Lombardi condemning the "horrific and heinous act", noting that it followed other "senseless violence" in France.

Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the killings "an act of irredeemable evil".

British Foreign Secretary William Hague spoke of an act of "calculated cruelty" which he said would "unite all decent people in revulsion and condemnation."

Meanwhile Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti expressed "outrage and alarm," stressing that "anti-Semitism, xenophobia and intolerance are utterly contrary to the... values that underlie all of humanity".

His Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy said he was "shocked by the cruelty", and his Belgian counterpart voiced his "horror and indignation".

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle was swift to stress that "anti-Semitism and violence against Jewish institutions or people of Jewish faith have no place in Europe and must be rigorously punished."

Poland's foreign ministry said: "Such acts of terror can have no justification and must be condemned unreservedly by the civilised world."

Belgium, the Netherlands and Sweden also stepped up security around Jewish schools and other buildings, while European Jewish groups urged France to catch the gunman. There were expressions of outrage from Jewish groups on other continents.

"While many of the details are still emerging, it appears that this was a premeditated attack with the intention to murder Jewish children," said Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs John Baird sent a message on his Twitter account on Monday morning expressing his "solemn and sincere condolences to those affected by the shootings at Toulouse," as Canada's Jewish community said it shared "the terrible pain" being felt in Toulouse and beyond.

 

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Why topless French women are covering up
Why going topless on French beaches is no longer de rigueur. Photo: Shutterstock

Why topless French women are covering up

Topless sunbathers were once synonymous with French beaches, but with the trend apparently no longer de rigeur, The Local looks at why French women no longer feel the need or feel comfortable taking their tops off on the beaches. READ  

Uproar over sale of 'jihadist book' in France
'Islamist propaganda' sold in mainstream French stores has sparked controversy. Photo: Screengran/Amazon

Uproar over sale of 'jihadist book' in France

An apparent nondescript book called 'The Way of the Muslim', which is on sale in 1,000 stores across France, contains incitement to holy war and encourages killing “heretics” leading to uproar and calls for the text to be pulled. READ  

France hands over 'Jewish museum shooter'
Mehdi Nemmouche, the suspect in the Jewish museum shooting in Belgium has been handed over to authorities in Brussels. Photo: AFP

France hands over 'Jewish museum shooter'

French police handed over Mehdi Nemmouche to their counterparts in Brussels on Tuesday. Nemmouche is suspected of shooting dead four people at a Jewish museum in the Belgian capital in May. READ  

France set to pull its nationals out of Libya
Libyan security services and civilians gather across the street after a car bomb attack on the French embassy in Tripoli, Libya on April 23rd, 2013. Photo: Mahmud Turkia/AFP

France set to pull its nationals out of Libya

Amid an increasingly dangerous environment in Libya, France has decided to evacuate its nationals for their safety, according to reports on Tuesday. France's decision comes amid warnings and similar evacuations of other foreigners from the strife-torn North African nation. READ  

Nibbling rats blamed for French rail crash
The rear of a TGV train after it was hit by a regional TER train in south western France on Thursday. Photo: Mehdi Fedouach/AFP

Nibbling rats blamed for French rail crash

Rats nibbling at signalling cables led to a crash between two passenger trains that injured 40 people in south-west France earlier this month, a new report has announced. And signal failure is not the only problem being blamed on rats this week. READ  

Eurostar to start London-Marseille direct train
Eurostar is going to start direct train service from London to Marseilles. Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

Eurostar to start London-Marseille direct train

Getting from London to France's sunny Mediterranean coast is about to get a lot easier because Eurostar has announced it'll start direct service to Marseille next year. READ  

No new criminal probe against Sarkozy
Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkozy is the subject of yet another criminal probe. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

No new criminal probe against Sarkozy

Media reports on Tuesday claimed yet another criminal investigation had been launched against ex-President Nicolas Sarkozy, surrounding funding for 2007 presidential campaign, but the newspaper that first published the story has since admitted it's not true. READ  

EU to impose new sanctions on Russia
EU and the US are to impose new sanctions on Russia after their leaders agreed Moscow had done nothing to decrease tensions in the Ukraine. Photo: AFP

EU to impose new sanctions on Russia

France and its fellow EU powers along with the US agreed on the need to impose new sanctions on Russia over its presumed role in Ukraine's insurgency, the French presidency said on Monday. The sanctions should be finalised on Tuesday and will come into force shortly. READ  

Peach wars: French fury over Spanish dumping
French fruit growers unload a truck of Spanish peaches onto the road as the "peach war" between the two countries heats up. Photo: Raymond Roig/AFP

Peach wars: French fury over Spanish dumping

France has gone on the offensive in what is starting to look like an increasngly bitter "peach war" against Spain after authorities stepped up the number of checks on trucks carrying fruit across the border. READ  

French envoy's New York home search scuppered
Neighbours in a swanky New York apartment block have scuppered the hopes of France's ambassador to land a new home. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

French envoy's New York home search scuppered

France's ambassador to the United Nations is struggling to find a new home in New York after his attempts to buy a palatial 14-room apartment ran into trouble with prospective neighbours, who were concerned about the number of parties he would have. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
From manure to money: Ten bizarre facts about the French Parliament
Culture
Tourists picnic with rats in Louvre gardens
International
Is France really Europe's biggest public spenders?
National
Could your job in France soon be done by a robot?
National
Why you should think twice about feeding stray cats in France
National
And the new redrawn map of France will look like...?
Politics
Is French President François Hollande about to tie the knot?
International
Want a long-term visa? You may soon have to take a French test
International
Votes for foreigners: 'France would be giving up its sovereignty'
National
VIDEO: Stuntman jumps onto a moving Paris metro... and survives
Gallery
Forget 'faire l'amour', here's 15 top French expressions for making love
National
Report - 'Anti-Semitic' riots in France: 'We may leave for Israel'
National
Paris Plages: Here's 10 reasons to head down to the city beach
International
'Mont Blanc is like Disneyland. It's time to end the free-for-all'
Travel
Fancy climbing Mont Blanc? Here's 10 reasons to think twice about it
Gallery
Looking for a weird museum in Paris? Here's 10 that are worth a visit
National
Clear your head: Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
National
'Don't blame the labour market for France's unemployment woes!'
National
Job applicants in France: Be prepared to send in an anonymous CV
Sport
'Bouligans' to booze bans: Ten things you need to know about pétanque
Gallery
Driving in France: How to stay out of trouble on the roads
Travel
Ten essential free phone apps for a visit to Paris
Gallery
Like cycling? Love France? See the top ten best cycling routes in France
Sponsored Article
CurrencyFair: Why it pays when making overseas transfers
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se