November 16, 2018

French Court Convicts Three Members of Anti-Semitic Gang for Raping, Assaulting, Robbing Jewish Couple

A French court convicted three members of an anti-Semitic gang of raping, assaulting and robbing a Jewish couple in December 2014.

The three members, identified as 26-year-old Abdou Salam Kolita, 23-year-old Ladje Haidara and 22-year-old Houssame Hatri broke into the victims’ apartment after the male, identified as 21-year-old Jonathan B., answered the door anticipating he was getting a mail delivery. The trio tied up Jonathan and 19-year-old Laurine B., where they belittled them for being Jewish with statements like “Jews don’t keep money in the bank” as they vandalized Jewish symbols adorned in the apartment.

One of the men raped Laurine; Hatri dropped knives on Jonathan’s back with cries of “This is for my brothers in Palestine.” The three men also stole Jonathan’s credit card and used it to withdraw $500 from an ATM.

Both Jonathan and Laurine’s lives have been shattered by the incident. Jonathan was eventually let go from his job and the couple is now separated because they don’t “know how to talk to each other anymore,” per Algemeiner.

Kolita was sentenced to eight years in jail and Haidara was sentenced to 13 years in jail. Hatri, who has yet to be captured by police, was sentenced to 16 years in prison.

The aforementioned rape, assault and robbery is the latest example of the rising anti-Semitism in France, highlighted by the horrific murder of 85-year-old Mireille Knoll on March 23. According to the Associated Press, anti-Semitic violence rose by 26 percent and anti-Semitic vandalism rose by 22 percent in 2017.