Two Molotov cocktails were thrown at the synagogue in central Berlin, Germany, as antisemitic incidents have been rising in Germany following the violent escalation in the Middle East.
According to the police, assailants threw two Molotov cocktails early Wednesday at the synagogue in the centre of the German capital, reports ABC News.
Dozens of police officers were investigating in front of the synagogue in the neighbourhood, and the entire street next to the building was cordoned off and blocked for traffic.
Police said they were investigating „an attempted serious arson” in which two people approached the synagogue on foot at 3:45 a.m. and threw the firebombs, which burst on the sidewalk next to the building. The two people, their faces covered, ran away.
A couple of hours later, when police were investigating the incident, a 30-year-old man approached the synagogue on a scooter, which he threw aside, and began running toward the building. When police officers detained him, he resisted and shouted anti-Israeli slogans.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz strongly condemned the firebomb assault on the synagogue, saying, „We will never accept when attacks are carried out against Jewish institutions,” adding that Germany would not accept violent and antisemitic protests and that the protection of Jewish institutions would be further increased. „We stand united for the protection of Jews,” the chancellor added.
Shlomo Afanasev, a rabbi and long-time member of the Kahal Adass Jisroel community, said that so far, their community has always felt safe in this area, „in the middle of Berlin”, adding that he will cover his kippah from now on, because „I don’t want to be openly Jewish … outside, because it doesn’t feel safe anymore.”
Since Hamas attacked Israel on October 7 and the subsequent war in Gaza, police have increased security for Jewish institutions in Berlin and all over Germany. Still, Israeli flags flown as a sign of solidarity in front of city halls nationwide have been torn down and burnt, and several buildings in Berlin where Jews live had the star of David painted on doors and walls.
Image source: AP