Former Israeli soldier attacked with irritant gas in Berlin | News | DW

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An Israeli ex-soldier was assaulted outside a Berlin train station by unknown assailants, police said on Saturday, calling it an anti-Semitic attack.

The 29-year-old man, a resident of Berlin, was wearing a sweater with the IDF logo when the incident took place on Friday evening.

He was approached by someone in the east of the German capital and questioned about his faith, police said in a statement.

“Suddenly (the assailant) sprayed an irritant on his face and pushed him to the ground,” they said.

The man could not say whether it was one or more attackers, who then fled.

He found help at a nearby store and was able to alert the police.

Authorities have opened an investigation into the incident on suspicion of “politically motivated bodily harm”.

Two years after the Halle attack

The incident comes a day after the second anniversary of the deadly attack on a synagogue and its surroundings in the city of Halle, in eastern Germany.

In 2019, a far-right gunman attempted to break into the place of worship. After failing to get through the locked exterior doors, he shot and killed two people outside in frustration.

This week, German musician Gil Ofarim accused a Leipzig hotel of anti-Semitism, saying he was told to remove his Star of David pendant before being allowed to check in.

Earlier this month, anti-Semitic incidents were reported in the German capital during a football match between Union Berlin and Maccabi Haifa.

A group of people holding Israeli flags near the remote section said they had experienced anti-Semitic abuse by some Union Berlin fans.

Germany has also seen an increase in anti-Semitic hate crimes in recent years.

The latest government figures have shown that the number of recorded cases of attacks and hate crimes has seen a further upward trend in 2020.

Authorities recorded 2,275 such crimes up to the end of January 2021 – the highest number of anti-Semitic hate crimes since German police began collecting data on “politically motivated crime” in 2001.

adi / rc (AP, dpa)


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