Grief unites France and Israel

  • Agencies, Paris/Jerusalem
  • Updated: Jan 13, 2015 23:09 IST

President Francois Hollande vowed Tuesday that France would “never yield” to terror in an emotional tribute to three police officers shot dead in an Islamist killing spree, as four Jews gunned down in the attacks were buried in Israel.

In Paris, the Marseillaise anthem rang out under grey skies as a grim-faced Hollande laid the country’s highest decoration, the Legion d’honneur, on to the coffins of three fallen police officers draped in the red, white and blue flag.

“Our great and beautiful France will never break, will never yield, never bend” in the face of the Islamist threat that is “still there, inside and outside” the country, said Hollande, surrounded by weeping families and uniformed colleagues

Two policemen, Franck Brinsolaro, 49 and Muslim officer Ahmed Merabet, 40, were killed during the attack on Charlie Hebdo. The third police officer Clarissa Jean-Philippe, 26, was gunned down by Coulibaly the next day when she arrived at the scene of a car accident in which he was involved.

In Israel, thousands of mourners gathered at a cemetery for the funeral of Tunisian national Yoav Hattab, 22, and French citizens Philippe Braham, 45, Yohan Cohen, 23, and Francois-Michel Saada, 64, who were killed at the kosher supermarket.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told mourners that world is “starting to understand” the threat of Islamic extremism. As investigators hunted for those who may have assisted the killers, images of Coulibaly’s artner Hayat Boumeddiene emerged at Istanbul airport.

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