Syrian-Trained Islamist on Trial in the Netherlands for Arson Attack on Amsterdam Kosher Restaurant
The Jewish community in the Netherlands will be closely watching the trial of an Islamist charged with arson and vandalism against a well-known kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, the editor of the country’s main Jewish newspaper remarked in a television interview on Wednesday.
“If there is a strong punishment, it will at least give a sign to the Jewish community that the threat posed by this man is finally being taken seriously,” Esther Voet — editor of the Nieuw Israëlitisch Weekblad (NIW) — told broadcaster NPO 1′s breakfast program.
The defendant, named as 32-year-old Salah A., is accused of burning an Israeli flag outside the HaCarmel restaurant and smashing its windows. In 2017, he was convicted for similar offenses. He is also a suspect in a sexual assault case from Feb. 2020.
Voet emphasized that Salah A., whose trial began on Wednesday morning, had previously “trained in Syria with a terrorist group.”
“It is very important that this case is now substantive, because we can finally hear that this man had a terrorist motive,” Voet said.
In March, HaCarmel’s Israeli owner, Daniel Bar-On, told local news outlets that he could no longer keep track of the number of attacks on his property by antisemites.
“I’ve lost count,” Bar-On said. “There are many restaurants owned by different nationalities along this street, but we are the only one subjected to these kinds of incidents.”