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svgadminsvgJanuary 12, 2016svgNews

Jewish teacher attacked in France used Torah to fend off stabber

A Jewish teacher stabbed by a 15-year-old in the southern French city of Marseille on Monday believes the teen, an ethnic Kurd, wanted to decapitate him, his lawyer said Tuesday.

The teenager, who told police he was acting in the name of Islamic State (ISIS), stabbed the 35-year-old teacher in the shoulder and hand in the attack, which took place in broad daylight. 

The teacher’s lawyer, Fabrice Labi, said his client had told him: “I had the feeling he wanted to decapitate me.”

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin said the weapon was blunt, which helped limit the damage. The teacher was released from hospital on Monday night.

“I told him to stop hitting me but he kept going and I didn’t think I would get out alive,” the teacher told La Provence newspaper, adding he had seen “hatred… in the eyes of the attacker.”

The teacher was wearing a skull cap and used his Torah as a shield to fend off the assailant.

“Honestly, I don’t know how I will get over this terrible attack,” said the teacher, adding he would have to think about no longer wearing his skull cap in public.

Robin said the teenager, who will turn 16 in the coming days, “has the profile of someone who was radicalized on the Internet.”

“He claimed to have been acting for Daesh,” he added, using the Arabic acronym for ISIS. “You get the sense that he does not have a full grasp of the fundamentals of Islam.”

The assault marked the third attack on Jews in recent months in the southern French port city, which has the second largest population of Jews in France after the capital Paris.

Three Jews were assaulted in October, one with a knife near a synagogue by a drunken assailant. In November, another Jewish teacher was stabbed by people shouting anti-Semitic obscenities and support for ISIS. 

AFP contributed to this report. 

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