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2015-01-16 digital edition

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The Jewish Press of Tampa and the Jewish Press of Pinellas County are Independently- owned biweekly Jewish community newspapers published in cooperation with and supported by the Tampa JCC & Federation and the Jewish Federation of Pinellas & Pasco Counties, respectively. Copyright © 2009-2018 The Jewish Press Group of Tampa Bay, Inc., All Rights Reserved.


 

January 16, 2015  RSS feed
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Text: T T T

Paris kosher supermarket hero becoming French citizen


Lassana Bathily Lassana Bathily (JTA) – France will grant citizenship to Lassana Bathily, the Muslim employee of a Paris kosher supermarket who hid shoppers during the deadly hostage siege.

A Malain citizen who has been in France since 2006, Bathily will be granted citizenship this week, AFP reported. The French news agency cited a statement issued by French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, who will preside at the ceremony.

Bathily filed an application for naturalization in July.

On Jan. 9, he led six hostages secretly into the supermarket’s refrigeration room, where they hid without the hostage taker’s knowledge before Bathily escaped the building. The hostages declined to escape with him, fearful they would be caught.

Outside the building, police initially believed he was the gunman and handcuffed Bathily for about an hour before he could prove his identity. Bathily then provided information to police that allowed them to storm the store without harming the hostages. Four people were killed in the attack.


On Jan. 16, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, accompanied by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, stop outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, to lay a wreath at a makeshift memorial to the victims of the hostage siege the week before. 
U.S. State Department On Jan. 16, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, right, accompanied by French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, stop outside the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket, to lay a wreath at a makeshift memorial to the victims of the hostage siege the week before. U.S. State Department An Internet petition to grant Bathily citizenship and present him with the Legion of Honor has garnered more than 295,000 signatures, according to AFP.

French President Francois Hollande called Bathily to congratulate him and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paid tribute to him during a memorial ceremony at the Great Synagogue in Paris.


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