EU cautions of Christmas alarming assaults


(MENAFN) As the holiday season approaches, the European Union (EU) is facing a "huge risk" of terrorist attacks, warns European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson. The recent fatal stabbing of a German-Filipino tourist in Paris, coupled with a society polarized by the Israel-Hamas conflict, has raised concerns about the potential for acts of terror across the European Union during Christmas.

The commissioner's warning, issued ahead of a meeting with European Union interior ministers in Brussels, comes in the wake of a disturbing incident in Paris where a 26-year-old Frenchman, reportedly from a non-religious Iranian family, fatally stabbed a tourist and made references to the Islamic State (IS) group. Two others were injured in the attack with a hammer.

Johansson emphasized the impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on European society, noting the polarization it has caused. She stated, "With the war between Israel and Hamas, and the polarization it causes in our society, with the upcoming holiday season, there is a huge risk of terrorist attacks in the European Union." The commissioner did not provide specific details regarding intelligence warnings supporting her cautionary statement.

In response to the heightened threat, Johansson disclosed that the European Union has allocated an additional EUR30 million (USD32.3 million) in security spending. The funds are aimed at enhancing security measures across the union during this critical period.

The article highlights the aftermath of the cross-border attack by Hamas on October 7 and the subsequent retaliatory bombardment by Israel, actions that have reverberated throughout Europe for the past two months. Several European capitals have witnessed large-scale pro-Palestinian demonstrations and marches both in support of and against Israel. The complex situation has fueled concerns about rising anti-Semitism across the continent.

As the European Union takes proactive measures to address the heightened threat of terrorism, the article explores the multifaceted challenges posed by the Israel-Hamas conflict, examining its impact on European society and the potential implications for security during the festive season. The allocation of additional funds underscores the seriousness with which European Union authorities are treating the situation, emphasizing the need for collaborative efforts to ensure the safety and security of citizens.

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