Europe 1 with AFP / Photo credit: Xose Bouzas / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP 23:04 p.m., December 03, 2023

As the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah begins on Thursday, Gérald Darmanin asked all prefects to be "extremely vigilant" during the event. The interior minister recalled the "very high level of the terrorist threat" in France, particularly in the context of the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Gérald Darmanin asked all prefects for "extreme vigilance" for the Jewish holiday of Hanukkah, which begins Thursday, recalling the "very high level of the terrorist threat" in France, in a telegram dated Sunday and of which AFP had a copy. "The very high level of the terrorist threat that continues to weigh on our country, as well as the persistence of tensions at the international level, especially in the context of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, require the maintenance of extreme vigilance," the interior minister wrote.

"Thank you for applying this instruction ad litteram"

Starting Thursday, people of the Jewish faith will celebrate Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, for eight days until December 15. Gérald Darmanin asked for "increased vigilance to be ensured by a static presence visible at the arrival and departure times of the faithful, during gatherings and services". The telegram is annotated with a handwritten note: "Please carry out this instruction ad litteram."

On Saturday night, a radical Islamist killed a 23-year-old German-Filipino tourist with a knife and hammer and wounded two people near the Eiffel Tower. Armand Rajabpour-Miyandoab, a 26-year-old French-Iranian, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group in a video posted on his X account, which included "numerous publications on Hamas, Gaza and more generally Palestine," according to anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard.

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According to Israel, 1,200 people, mostly civilians, were killed in the attack on its soil by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas, in which about 240 people were abducted. In retaliation, Israel is carrying out intense bombardment of Gaza, a small Palestinian territory controlled by Hamas since 2007. According to a new Hamas tally on Sunday, the bombing killed 15,523 people - 70 percent of them women and children - and wounded 41,316. In France, since October 7, more than 1,500 anti-Semitic acts and remarks had been recorded in mid-November, with nearly 600 arrests according to the Ministry of the Interior.