A Dash of Fear

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The European Union warned that the war in Gaza has increased the threat of terror attacks over the holiday season, a statement that comes following a recent deadly attack near the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the New York Times reported.

EU Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said that both the Oct. 7 attack carried out by Hamas in Israel, and the Israeli government’s deadly military response, had triggered anger throughout Europe that has already escalated into violence.

On Dec. 2, a man armed with a knife and a hammer murdered a German tourist and injured another two near the Eiffel Tower. Authorities questioned the man’s mental stability, though he expressed distress at the death of Muslims, including in Gaza, and pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

That follows another deadly attack in October, when a French teacher was stabbed to death and two others injured in Arras, northern France, the Wall Street Journal reported.

As a result, France and other European states have heightened anti-terrorism security levels. An EU official told the New York Times that authorities were staying alert to both antisemitic and anti-Muslim threats. Johansson said a $32 million fund will be used to counter terror threats, including for religious sites.

Prior to the war in the Middle East, Europol reported that Islamic terrorism was considered the biggest threat in Europe. Nonetheless, attacks by white supremacists have also occurred in recent years.

Still, Europeans are skittish, remembering the period from 2014 to 2017 that saw hundreds killed in France, Belgium, and the United Kingdom, among other countries in terror attacks.

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