A Palestinian asylum seeker has been found guilty in Austria of inciting others to kill Jews in Israel. The 27-year old man was also was found guilty by the same six-member jury of belonging to the proscribed terrorist organization Hamas, the Gaza-based Palestinian terror group.
The defendant, who was raised in the Gaza Strip, was arrested at an asylum-seeker centre in Lower Austria last July. Prosecutors accused him of contacting two men in the Palestinian territories via social media apps and ordering them to carry out mass killings of Jews in Jerusalem, the Local reports.
Prosectors alleged he used code words ordering followers to throw “apples” – a code word for hand grenades – into crowds in Jerusalem. The court heard he also told witnesses testifying in the trial that he was “proud to be part of Hamas.”
Two accomplices were detained by Israeli authorities in June 2016, leading to the arrest of the alleged mastermind the following month in the Austrian town of Gmünd. He has been in the Josefstadt prison since his arrest.
The man, whose name was not disclosed in accordance with Austrian law, pleaded not guilty to all charges and instructed defense lawyers to mount an appeal. The accused had already been arrested at the age of 14 in Gaza and served nine years in prison for violence against Israeli soldiers.
This is not the first time profoundly anti-Semitic views have been highlighted amongst immigrants arriving in Austria.
As Breitbart London has reported, anti-Semitic incidents in Austria grew by 82 per cent between 2014 and 2015, Jewish community group Israelitischen Kultusgemeinde (IKG) revealed. Their report was collated by the non-governmental organisation ‘Forum Gegen Antisemitismus’ (Forum Against Anti-Semitism), a report in the European Jewish Press showed.
Daniel Schwammenthal, director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Institute, has previously commented on rising levels of anti-Semitism in Europe: “You know something has gone awfully wrong when you get phone calls from friends and family in Israel who are worried about your personal safety in Europe’s capital.”
AFP contributed to this report.
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