Murder of elderly woman in Paris probed as anti-Semitic

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As a child in Paris, Knoll managed to evade the round-up of Jews during World War Two, Paris lawmaker Meyer Habib said.

One of the suspects is a neighbour in his twenties who visited her regularly, according to her family.

Knoll escaped a 1942 roundup of Jews in Paris by French police in Nazi German-occupied Paris, Poland's website reported. "And then, she was an 85-year-old lady who had lived her life trying to make the most out of what life could give her because she had suffered during the war".

Both have been remanded in custody.

One of the men is a neighbor in his 20s whom Knoll knew well and who had visited her that day, Knoll's son, who did not wish to be named, told Agence France-Presse. "We can not yet say if the motive for the murder was anti-Semitism but it is reasonable to assume, it will not be surprising and, therefore, this only strengthens the fact that this struggle has not ended, and that we will need to continue fighting against anti-Semitism". One suspect is North African in descent. The suspect, who came to France from Mali, is in a psychiatric hospital. "My mother accepted everyone. And she was extremely kind", Daniel Knoll, son of Mireille Knoll said in an interview with i24NEWS.

Authorities say that Knoll was stabbed 11 times.

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Neither police nor prosecutors have commented on the religious or racial background of the attackers, simply describing them as French residents.

Her body was partially burned during the blaze that lit her apartment on fire after the stabbing.

A French-Israeli MP has said that her death was an anti-Semitic attack.

Only last month was the murder deemed anti-Semitic. However, anti-Semitic violence rose.

French President Emmanuel Macron said that he was emotional after the "appalling crime" and vowed to fight anti-Semitism, which France's Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia said Monday was robbing the country's Jews of "a human face".

Traore, who is of Malian descent, allegedly recited verses from the Koran while beating Ms Halimi before throwing her out of a third-floor window and shouting: "I've killed the Shaitan [devil in Arabic]".

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"At first we weren't sure [the murder] was due to anti-Semitism".

A police source told AFP that the suspect had convictions for rape and sexual assault. "Until now, I haven't felt anti-Semitism in France".

Mireille Knoll, 85, was killed Friday in her apartment, which was then set on fire, according to a French judicial official.

In recent years, French Jewish groups have repeatedly denounced anti-Semitic attacks. We must #NeverForget and remain vigilant against Antisemitism.

"I call on all Paris' elected representatives, all Parisians, to take part in the march in white on Wednesday in homage to #MireilleKnoll", Hidalgo wrote on Twitter.

"While President Macron and other French leaders have forcefully condemned anti-Semitism, the response of law enforcement and other authorities to expressions and acts of anti-Semitic hatred is particularly important to reinforce a sense of security for Jewish communities", they continued. "Have we reached the point of no return?"

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