Ten people have been detained by German police in the wake of an alleged anti-Semitic attack in a Berlin park, with local media reporting all involved are Syrian migrants.
The group, aged between 15 and 25, includes three women. Police did not release the names or nationalities of the suspects or the victim, but German daily Welt reported all involved are Syrians, AFP reports.
Police allege the victim was attacked after he approached the group in a park to borrow a lighter, only for him to have his cigarette snatched away.
The 25-year-old was wearing a chain with a star of David, which police said was ripped from the victim’s neck by one of the assailants, while spewing “anti-Semitic insults.” The attacker allegedly repeatedly punched the victim in the face, before fleeing.
The incident has reignited growing concerns over safety and rises in anti-Semitism, particularly among newly arrived migrants in Germany.
In April a Jewish teenager wearing a traditional kippah was attacked on a Berlin street by a Muslim assailant who whipped him with a belt in an anti-Semitic attack.
Video of the incident shows the attacker – who was part of a gang of three – repeatedly whipping the teen with his belt while calling out, “Yahudi,” or “Jew” in Arabic, before he is stopped by a passerby.
— Jüdisches Forum (@JFDA_eV) April 17, 2018
The attacker, identified only as Knaan Al S. because of German privacy rules, was charged and later convicted of commiting bodily harm and slander.
Last year the number of anti-Semitic offences in Germany rose from 654 in 2016 to 681 according to the German Interior Ministry. The number of violent attacks also increased, though the number of “hate speech” incidents has slightly decreased Die Welt reported.
In the capital itself, Berlin recorded a twofold increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes between 2013 and 2017, according to the latest German police figures.
A report in Tagesspiegel reveals that police figures seen by the Berlin newspaper show that 288 crimes classified as anti-Semitic were recorded by the German capital’s police in 2017. This is slightly less than double the 149 crimes recorded in 2013.
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