(JTA) – A 13-year-old Jewish boy was maced near Paris in what a watchdog group said was an anti-Semitic assault by three unidentified minors.
The incident occurred Tuesday evening in Le Pre-Saint-Gervais, a northeastern suburb of Paris, according to a report published Wednesday on the website of the National Bureau for Vigilance Against Anti-Semitism, or BNVCA.
The attackers, who appeared to be of North African descent, identified the boy as Jewish because he wore a kippah and tzitzit, according to the BNVCA report, which was based on the testimony of an eyewitness. One of the assailants sprayed the boy’s eye with mace, or possibly pepper spray, before fleeing with the other two.
Rendered temporarily blind, the boy was rushed to a nearby clinic for medical treatment. He suffered intense pain for about 30 minutes after the attack, BNVCA said.
Police, alerted to the incident by BNVCA, collected depositions from the witness and the victim, BNVCA wrote.
The attack is part of a surge in anti-Semitic incidents in France that has been ongoing since 2012, BNVCA wrote, and which led to the death of 12 people at the hands of French jihadists targeting Jews.
“The situation is becoming increasingly intolerable,” the BNVCA wrote in the report about the 13-year-old victim, who was not named. “A child of 13, as he is about to celebrate bar mitzvah, knows nothing but the climate of fear and insecurity as a result of anti-Semitism.”