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June 30, 2021 1:48 pm
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Syrian-Trained Islamist on Trial in the Netherlands for Arson Attack on Amsterdam Kosher Restaurant

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Amsterdam kosher restaurant HaCarmel. Photo: Twitter.

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.”

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“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.”

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