Tree commemorating murder of French Jew is chopped down

A tree planted in a Paris suburb in memory of Ilan Halimi has been chopped down, the latest in a series of antisemitic acts in France.

Ilan Halimi was kidnapped by a gang that demanded huge sums of money from his family, believing them to be rich because he was Jewish.

After being tortured for three weeks, the 23-year-old cellphone salesman was found dumped next to a railway in the southern suburb of Sainte-Genevieve-des-Bois. He died while being brought to hospital.

Municipal workers sent to prepare a memorial site for an annual remembrance ceremony this week discovered that a tree planted in his honour had been chopped down and a second one partly sawn through, local officials told AFP.

The police are investigating the incident, which the French government’s special representative on racism, antisemitism and discrimination, Frederic Potier, described as “ignominious.”

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