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Witness to French terror attack: I’m moving to Israel

Maurice Gabay works close to factory where man was beheaded on Friday • “It is shocking to think I was a witness to an Islamic State attack,” Gabay says • France tightens security to unprecedented levels in recent decades.
“I didn’t think for a moment this was an Islamist terrorist attack,” French Jew Maurice Gabay told Israel Hayom on Saturday, a day after a man was beheaded at the Air Products factory near the town of Saint-Quentin-Fallavier in southeastern France.

Gabay’s lighting company is located around 100 meters from the factory where Friday’s attack took place. “Just this week, my 10-year-old daughter asked me if the soldiers guarding her Jewish school were necessary,” Gabay, a former head of the Jewish community in Grenoble, said. “I told her yes. And what happened Friday confirmed this.”

Like many others in the area, Gabay, 54, did not initially understand what the source of the loud noises coming from the Air Products factory was on Friday. “I didn’t see much at first. … We are just six minutes from the Lyon-Saint-Exupéry Airport. We thought maybe a plane had flown too low. Others thought a helicopter had flown over. Who would have thought this was an attack? Who would think in this quiet industrial zone that someone would try to blow us all up and cut a person’s head off? It is shocking to think I was a witness to an Islamic State attack.

“It is very concerning that just 100 meters from where I work someone was decapitated and their head was hung on a fence. A threshold has been crossed. Terrorism is here, that’s a fact. And its terrorism of the gravest and most sickening sort.

“I have three children and I need to take care of them. I made my decision before this attack — in August, we’re moving to Israel.”

After Friday’s attack, Israel’s Immigrant Absorption Minister Zeev Elkin (Likud) called on French Jews to immigrate to Israel.

In Friday’s attack, a delivery man with known Islamist connections beheaded his boss and left the body, daubed with Arabic writing, at the site of the U.S.-owned Air Products gas factory before trying to blow up the complex.

The assailant rammed his delivery van into a warehouse containing gas canisters, triggering an initial explosion, and was arrested minutes later as he tried to open canisters containing flammable chemicals.


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