Gérald Darmanin asked all prefects to be "extremely vigilant" for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins Thursday, in a telegram dated Sunday. "The very high level of the terrorist threat that continues to weigh on our country, as well as the persistence of tensions at the international level, especially in the context of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, require the maintenance of extreme vigilance," the interior minister wrote.
Starting Thursday, people of the Jewish faith will celebrate Hanukkah, the festival of lights, for eight days until Dec. 15. Gérald Darmanin asked for "increased vigilance by a static presence visible at the arrival and departure times of the faithful, during gatherings and services". The telegram is annotated with a handwritten note: "Please carry out this instruction ad litteram."
1,500 anti-Semitic acts and remarks recorded
On Saturday night, a radical Islamist killed a 23-year-old German-Filipino tourist with a knife and hammer and wounded two people near the Eiffel Tower. Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a 26-year-old French-Iranian, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video posted on his X account, which included "numerous publications on Hamas, Gaza and more generally Palestine," according to anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard.
According to Israel, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the Hamas attack on its soil, in which about 240 people were abducted. In retaliation, Israel is carrying out intense bombardment of the Gaza Strip. According to a new Hamas tally on Sunday, the bombing killed 15,523 people - 70 percent of them women and children. In France, since October 7, more than 1,500 anti-Semitic acts and remarks had been recorded in mid-November, with nearly 600 arrests according to the Ministry of the Interior, proof of the ambient tension.