• 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.

 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Top French court bolsters gay adoption
A top French court has bolstered gay parents adoption rights. Photo: Lionel Bonaventure/AFP

Top French court bolsters gay adoption

France's top civil court on Monday ruled authorities must allow adoptions to occur for same sex parents, regardless of how the child was conceived. READ  

'France's economic woes aren't Germany's fault'
France's prime minister got a frosty welcome in Germany. Photo: AFP

'France's economic woes aren't Germany's fault'

As France's prime minister sat in the audience on Tuesday, the top lobbyist for German industry told a conference that Germany didn't mess up the French economy and isn't responsible for fixing it. READ  

French maternity wards prepare for busiest day
France’s maternity wards will be able to cope with the increase of expecting mothers, according to INED. Newborn baby photo: Shutterstock

French maternity wards prepare for busiest day

More French babies will be brought into the world this Tuesday than on any other day this year, according to a new study, with experts attributing the phenomenon to something special that happens around the new year. READ  

VIDEO
Flood-fleeing pheasants invade French town
6,000 birds were left homeless as a result of the floods. Pheasant photo: Shutterstock

Flood-fleeing pheasants invade French town

Just days after a French village was hit by heavy flooding its residents are battling another natural hazard after it was inundated by thousands of homeless pheasants and partridges. READ  

Air France strike hits ninth day, no end in sight
There is no end in sight to the Air France pilots' strike Photo: Aeroicarus/Flickr

Air France strike hits ninth day, no end in sight

As the Air France pilots' strike grinds into its ninth day, there is little hope that unions and management are close to a deal. Over half of the airline's flights remain grounded. READ  

Emotions high ahead of Gaultier's 'last' show
Designer Jean-Paul Gauthier, right, is to give his 'last' show this week. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Emotions high ahead of Gaultier's 'last' show

Expectation--and nostalgia--are mounting ahead of the 'last' show for legendary designer Jean-Paul Gaulthier before he retires from the ready-to-wear fashion business. READ  

French leader hits out at Blair about Iraq invasion
Tony Blair got a little criticism from a top French leader. Photo: AFP

French leader hits out at Blair about Iraq invasion

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair was criticized by a top French official after saying Western powers shouldn't rule using ground troops against Isis Islamic extremists. READ  

Militants say they'll kill Frenchman in 24 hours
An image grab taken from a video which allegedly shows French tourist, Herve Pierre Gourdel (C), sitting between two armed jihadists. Photo: HO/Jund Al-Khilafa via YouTube/AFP

Militants say they'll kill Frenchman in 24 hours

An Algerian group linked to Isis on Monday threatened to kill a kidnapped Frenchman within 24 hours unless Paris halts air strikes on the Islamic militants in Iraq. France has vowed not to negotiate. READ  

France places Oscar hopes in 'Saint Laurent'
Gaspard Ulliel stars in "Saint Laurent" which France is putting forth for Oscar consideration. Photo: Loic Venance/AFP

France places Oscar hopes in 'Saint Laurent'

France has put forth a film that traces the dark side of the life led by fashion legend Yves Saint Laurent for the 2015 Oscars. READ  

Gallery
A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison
La Santé was open this weekend for guided tours. Photo: Joshua Melvin/The Local

A look inside France's 'most notorious' prison

The only prison in Paris, the notorious and historic La Santé was open this weekend for guided tours as it sits empty ahead of massive renovations. Here’s a look inside at a place that’s both fascinating and terrifying. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Paris installs new device to stop 'love lock' craze
National
Paris cabby dies in vicious high-heel attack
National
'Paris is a sexy city, its beauty is inspiring'
Culture
Depardieu: ‘I drink 14 bottles of booze a day’
National
Top French chefs want banned bird on menu
National
VIDEO: Making of French rugby hunk calendar
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Marks and Spencer: Win €300 toward your new autumn wardrobe
National
Ten great bars in Paris only locals know about
Society
France's top expat tribes: Which are you?
National
France to set flat-rate for Paris airport taxis
Politics
French separatists want Scots to say 'yes'
National
Anti-dog poo offensive launched in French town
National
Scammers attack Paris's top cop at tourist hotspot
National
French leader didn't pay his rent for three years
National
'WW2 bomb' kills camper on French island
Does France have a racism problem?
National
National
'Enough gloom, France is an amazing country'
Gallery
The top ten tourist traps to avoid in France
Politics
The juiciest bits from Trierweiler's tell-all book
Politics
Trierweiler tells all: 'Hollande wanted me back, at any price'
Education
'Sacre bleu!' Do the French really say that?
Politics
Manuel Valls has plenty in common with Tony Blair, but not background
International
Votes for expats: Plan to end UK's 15-year rule
Gallery
Ten dos and don'ts for keeping your French in-laws happy
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