2003 Associated Press
Associated Press Worldstream
11, 2003 Thursday
masked men killed a Jewish wood merchant Thursday at point blank range,
the first time in memory that a Jewish citizen of this Muslim kingdom in
North Africa has been gunned down, the official MAP news agency said.
The motive for the killing of 55-year-old Albert Rebibo was not known.
However, it came as a blow to Jewish leaders here. Morocco's
small but ancient Jewish community - some 3,500 members - was targeted in
five nearly simultaneous suicide bombings on May 16 that killed 33
bystanders and a dozen bombers. No Jews
were killed in the attacks. However, a Jewish social club, a restaurant
run by a Jew and a Jewish
cemetery were among the targets.
"The Moroccan Jewish community has been hit on this anniversary date
of Sept. 11," said Serge Berdugo, head of the Council of Israelite
Communities of Morocco.
He was referring to Thursday's second anniversary of the terror attacks in
the United States.
"I hope our community will have the needed wherewithal to overcome
this challenge," Berdugo said.
Police were searching for the two masked men who fired with a pistol at
Rebibo as he was closing his shop about midday. The men were then
surrounded by a crowd, but dispersed the gathering with shots in the air,
police said. The suspects were then reported to have stolen a car to flee
via the highway.
and Israel have begun a process of normalization, marked by the Sept. 2
visit of Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.