Emotional funerals held for Paris terror victims

FRENCH president Francois Hollande, prime minister Manuel Valls, and Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo yesterday led crowds in the French capital to pay tribute to the three police officers killed in attacks last Wednesday.

A tribute to murdered police officer Ahmed Merabet ahead of his funeral in Bobigny. Picture: Getty

Ahmed Merabet, 40, and Franck Brinsolaro, 49, were killed during the attacks at Charlie Hebdo, and Clarissa Jean-Philippe died in Montrouge.

Meanwhile, thousands of mourners joined Israeli leaders and the families of the four Jewish victims of the terror attack on a kosher supermarket in Paris.

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An emotional funeral procession in Jerusalem reflected the deep sense of connection and concern in Israel over the safety of fellow Jews in Europe.

Relatives of each victim spoke briefly and lit a torch in memory of their loved one before stepping off the stage with a huge Israeli flag in the background to embrace Israel’s leaders. The ceremony concluded with the national anthem.

The four victims – Yohan Cohen, Yoav Hattab, Philippe Braham and François-Michel Saada – died on Friday during a hostage stand-off at the store on the eastern edge of Paris. They were among 17 people killed in three days of attacks last week by terrorists claiming allegiance to the al-Qaeda and Islamic State extremist groups. The killings shocked France’s Jewish community of 500,000 – the largest in Europe – and deepened fears among European Jewish communities already shaken by rising antisemitism.

Israeli leaders called on French Jews to emigrate to Israel – calls that drew a mixed reception in France, where politicians and Jewish leaders insist Jews are an integral part of the nation and that mass migration would be seen as a failure of the republic.