Two Arab Israelis were attacked Monday by a gang on the sidelines of a rally in the German city of Dresden that railed at the record refugee influx and sexual violence against women at New Year’s Eve festivities.
The German daily Der Spiegel reported that two Arab Israeli men, aged 25 and 26, were speaking Arabic at the time of the attack, and were told to leave the by six men, who were dressed in black.
The same gang also targeted an Indian, African and German men that same evening.
Elsewhere in Germany, far-right protesters rallied against Chancellor Angela Merkel, whom they accuse of destroying their homeland by allowing in 1.1 million asylum seekers last year.
In the eastern city of Leipzig thousands of protesters gathered, chanting, “We are the people,” “Resistance!” and “Deport them!” A heavy police presence kept watch, separating the crowd from thousands of counter-demonstrators, as rain poured down.
While the rally stayed peaceful, police said some 250 far-right hooligans had thrown rocks and smashed shop windows in a traditionally left-wing student district of the city, before police dispersed them.
The key theme of the protest was the New Year’s Eve attacks in the western city of Cologne, where hundreds of women reported being groped and robbed by men described as Arabs and North Africans, in scenes that have shocked the country.
Justice Minister Heiko Maas earlier Monday warned that “those who now hound refugees — on the Internet or on the streets — have obviously just been waiting for the events of Cologne” and were now “shamelessly exploiting” the attacks.
AFP contributed to this report.