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French official says fight against anti-Semitism will be national cause after couple attacked

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CRETEIL, France — France's government has pledged more action to fight anti-Semitism after an attack on a couple revived worries about the rising number of incidents targeting Jews in the country.

Several hundred people demonstrated Sunday in the Paris suburb of Creteil to draw attention to what France's leading Jewish organization says is a nearly doubling of anti-Semitic incidents this year compared to 2013.

PHOTO: French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, center, during a gathering against anti-semitism also attended by Israeli ambassador to France Yossi Gal, left, in Creteil, east of Paris, Sunday Dec. 7, 2014. An attack on a French Jewish couple this week, had revived worries about long-simmering anti-Semitic sentiment in France. The number of anti-Semitic incidents in France has grown 91 percent this year compared to last year, said Roger Cukierman, head of France's leading Jewish organization, CRIF. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)
French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve, center, during a gathering against anti-semitism also attended by Israeli ambassador to France Yossi Gal, left, in Creteil, east of Paris, Sunday Dec. 7, 2014. An attack on a French Jewish couple this week, had revived worries about long-simmering anti-Semitic sentiment in France. The number of anti-Semitic incidents in France has grown 91 percent this year compared to last year, said Roger Cukierman, head of France's leading Jewish organization, CRIF. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere)

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told those present that France "will defend you with all its strength," and that the fight against anti-Semitism "will be a great national cause."

Assailants forced their way into an apartment in Creteil this past week, tied up a young man and woman, demanded money and raped the woman, authorities say. The assailants allegedly talked about attacking Jews.

France has Western Europe's largest Jewish community.

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