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March 11, 2022 10:25 am
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‘Free Palestine’: Jewish Man Assaulted in Berlin by Syrian Refugee

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Illustrative: A member of Berlin’s Jewish community speaking to journalists at the trial in 2019 of a Syrian immigrant who assaulted a man wearing a kippah. Photo: Reuters/Hannibal Hanschke

German police have released a 24-year-old man arrested on Thursday morning after he carried out a brutal antisemitic assault in Berlin.

The man, a refugee from Syria, encountered his victim in the corridor of a hostel in Prenzlauer Berg, a popular neighborhood in the heart of the German capital. The victim, a 32-year-old Jewish man from the UK, wore a kippah, sparking his assailant’s ire. He tore the kippah of the Jewish man’s head and began stamping on it. The assailant then demanded that his Jewish victim say the words “Free Palestine” before punching him repeatedly in the face.

On arresting the assailant, police established that he had been drinking heavily. Once in custody, his identity was established from the expired resident permit he was carrying. Police later released the accused man and ordered him to report to immigration officers.

Amid an overall rise in antisemitic incidents across Germany, Berlin has stood out for the frequency of attacks on Jews there. In the first half of 2021, a total of 522 antisemitic outrages were registered in the city, an increase of about 17 percent year-on-year, according a report by RIAS, a Berlin-based monitoring institute.

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On average, there were almost three antisemitic incidents a day during the period, with almost half of the incidents — 211 — recorded during the month of May, as hostilities between Israel and the Hamas terror group in Gaza erupted.

In Berlin, at least 12 pro-Palestinian rallies were held during the fighting. Speakers and banners denied Israel’s right to exist, compared Israeli policies with the Nazi Holocaust and called for violence against Jews. On May 15 — marked by Palestinian rejectionists as “Naqba Day” to protest the “catastrophe” of Israel’s founding — protestors shouted “Israel murders children” as they pelted riot police with stones and bottles, while elsewhere in the capital, two young Jewish women were assailed as “Zionist whores” when they and a male Jewish friend were accosted by a pro-Palestinian mob.

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