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Palestinian and Syrian Migrants Prosecuted for Sweden Synagogue Firebombing

Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in a failed arson attempt in Gothenburg, Sweden, late December 9, 2017. No one was injured but Jewish community members told local media the synagogue was attacked by a group of masked men who threw multiple burning objects. / AFP PHOTO / TT …
ADAM IHSE/AFP/Getty

Three migrants from Palestine and Syria have been convicted for attempted arson after attacking a synagogue in Sweden, following the announcement the U.S. embassy in Israel would move to Jerusalem.

The attack occurred in the city of Gothenburg in the south of the country last December, with a gang of a dozen masked men throwing firebombs at the building after an anti-Israel demonstration nearby where anti-Semitic chants were heard.

The trio, aged between 19 and 24, were convicted and sentenced in Gothenburg District Court on Monday, with two of the men handed two years in prison and the third and youngest given 15 months behind bars, Aftonbladet reports.

One of the men, a 22-year-old Palestinian, had his asylum application rejected after the attack and will be deported from Sweden after serving his jail time.

The other Palestinian attacker and the Syrian both have Swedish residency permits and are likely to be allowed to stay when they are released.

In a judgement, the court said the attackers had “the clear goal of threatening, harming, and violating members of the synagogue and the Jewish community more generally.”

According to The Times of Israel, they concluded: “The crime, therefore, had a hate motive.” The three men were accused of carrying out the attack “together with several unknown persons”.

In total, roughly 12 men were seen in footage of the attack, appearing to participate. Police made five initial arrests but two were later released due to a lack of evidence.

There was no serious material damage to the building and no injuries sustained during the attack, although around 20 individuals taking part in a youth celebration at the synagogue were forced to shelter in a cellar before their parents arrived to move them to safety.

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