3 sentenced to prison for Sweden synagogue arson attack
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3 sentenced to prison for Sweden synagogue arson attack

Two Palestinians and a Syrian are found guilty; one suspect will be deported after serving his time

Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in a failed arson attempt in Gothenburg, Sweden, late December 9, 2017. (AFP/TT News Agency/Adam IHSE)
Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in a failed arson attempt in Gothenburg, Sweden, late December 9, 2017. (AFP/TT News Agency/Adam IHSE)

A Swedish court on Monday sentenced two Palestinians and one Syrian to prison for attacking a synagogue with Molotov cocktails last year.

The court in the country’s second largest city of Gothenburg sentenced a 19-year-old Syrian to one year and three months in prison, while the two Palestinians, aged 24 and 22, received two years.

A few days after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital, a dozen people threw multiple burning objects at the Gothenburg synagogue on the evening of December 9, 2017.

The prosecution argued that the charges were aggravated by “the crime’s motive to violate an ethnic group because of its beliefs.”

Police arrive after a synagogue was attacked in a failed arson attempt in Gothenburg, Sweden, late December 9, 2017. (AFP/TT News Agency/Adam Ihse)

Some 20 young people participating in a celebration briefly took shelter in a cellar during the attack, but no one was injured.

The court added that the attack’s “purpose was to threaten, harm and violate both the members of the Jewish community and the Jewish people as a whole.”

Swedish police tightened security near Jewish sites in the wake of the attack.

The three men claimed throughout the trial that they were innocent. One Palestinian man will be deported after serving his prison sentence, the court said. The other two men hold residency permits.

One of the men had googled the synagogue’s location on the day of the attack, the prosecution said.

Nobody else has been charged in connection with the attack.

There are around 20,000 Jews living in Sweden, according to the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities.

The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention says there have been between 150 and 280 anti-Semitic acts, including threats, insults and violence, each year in the past decade.

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