French President Francois Hollande paid tribute to three police officers killed in last week’s deadly attacks in the French capital during a ceremony at the police prefecture in Paris on Tuesday.
“They died so that we could live free,” he said, flanked by hundreds of police officers.
French Jews mourn Paris kosher market siegeFrench President Francois Hollande paid tribute to three police officers killed in last week's deadly attacks in the French capital during a ceremony at the police prefecture in Paris on Tuesday.
Hollande honored the three police officers by posthumously making them Knights of the French Legion of Honor.
Hollande went first to the family of Ahmed Merabet, the French Muslim policeman killed in the attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo. Merabet was killed along with fellow officer Franck Brinsolaro in last Wednesday’s attack.
Hollande vowed that France will be “merciless in the face of anti-Semitic, anti-Muslims acts, and unrelenting against those who defend and carry out terrorism, notably the jihadists who go to Iraq and Syria.”
Among the mourners attending the ceremony were journalists from the satirical newspaper, which lampooned religions and had been threatened repeatedly for its caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad.
The cover of Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday will depict Muhammad, weeping and holding a sign with the words “I am Charlie.”
Police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe, was killed by a third gunman, the man who killed four hostages in the Paris grocery.
Seventeen people were killed in the attacks, along with the three gunmen.
Funeral ceremony for Jewish victims of kosher supermarket attack
A solemn funeral ceremony for four French Jews who were killed during a siege at a kosher supermarket in Paris last week, took place in Jerusalem on Tuesday.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin were among the dignitaries in attendance, along with French Environment and Energy Minister, Segolene Royal, who was representing the French government.
“I have been saying it for many years and I will say it again here. These (the murderers) are not enemies of the Jewish people alone, they are enemies of all of humanity and the time has come for all enlightened people to unite and uproot these enemies from our midst,” Netanyahu said.
Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Francois-Michel Saada, and Phillipe Braham died Friday during a tense hostage standoff at the market on the eastern edge of Paris.
They were among 17 people killed in a wave of attacks carried out in France over three days last week by militants claiming allegiance to al-Qaida and the Islamic State extremist groups. The bodies of the four Jewish victims were brought by plane to Israel early Tuesday morning.
“They called themselves ‘the hand’ – five fingers of the same hand. But now, there are only four fingers left. It is sad. Very sad,” said Dvora Hattab, a mother of one victim’s friend, describing the close relationship he shared with his best friends. They all traveled from Paris for his funeral.
Thousands attended burials and most did not know the victims, but as French Jews living in Israel who identified with religious persecution, they came to show their support.
Numerous funeral goers carried signs reading “Je Suis Charlie et Je Suis Juif” – I am Charlie and I am Jewish.
The killings also shocked France’s 500,000 strong Jewish community, the largest in Europe, and prompted calls from Netanyahu for Jews throughout the continent to immigrate to Israel.
There are currently about 70,000 French Jews living in Israel today and as many as 10,000 more may immigrate to Israel in the coming year, for fear of persecution back in France.
Brothers Cherif and Said Kouachi and their friend, Amedy Coulibaly, were killed on Friday by police after the murderous spree at the offices of satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, and a kosher supermarket.
The three all claimed ties to Islamist extremists in the Middle East.
Story compiled with information from CCTV America and the Associated Press.