A Berlin synagogue was attacked with Molotov cocktails early Wednesday as antisemitic incidents in the German capital have been rising following the violent escalation in the Middle East.
The Kahal Adass Jisroel community said its synagogue in the city’s Mitte neighborhood was attacked with two incendiary devices. Police confirmed the incident.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz later strongly condemned the attack, saying, “We will never accept when attacks are carried out against Jewish institutions.”
“Unknown persons threw two Molotov cocktails from the street,” the community wrote on X, formerly Twitter. It also posted video footage of police officers investigating the scene in front of the synagogue that was cordoned off.
Germany’s leading Jewish group said two people were involved in the attack, but didn’t give any further details.
“We are all shocked by this terrorist attack,” the Central Council of Jews said in a statement. “Above all, the families from the neighborhood around the synagogue are shocked and unsettled. Words become deeds. Hamas’s ideology of extermination against everything Jewish is also having an effect in Germany.”
The building complex of the Kahal Adass Jisroel community in the center of Berlin houses a synagogue, a kindergarten, and a community center.
Heute Nacht (18.10.) wurde ein versuchter Brandanschlag auf unsere Gemeinde Kahal Adass Jisroel verübt. Unbekannte warfen dabei 2 Molotow-Cocktails von der Straße aus in Richtung unseres Gemeindezentrums in der Brunnenstraße in Berlin-Mitte. pic.twitter.com/tnh0UIV9mw
— Kahal Adass Jisroel (@KAJ_Berlin) October 18, 2023
Police also said there were riots overnight between Muslim immigrants and police in the city’s Neukoelln and Kreuzberg neighborhoods and at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate in which several officers were injured.
Scholz, who was speaking to reporters during a trip to Egypt on Wednesday, said that Germany would not accept violent and antisemitic protests and that the protection of Jewish institutions would be further increased.
“It outrages me personally what some of them are shouting and doing, and I am convinced that Germany’s citizens are of the same opinion as me,” Scholz said.
“We stand united for the protection also of Jews” in Germany, the chancellor added.
The spike in incidents appeared to be related to outrage across the globe at an explosion and fire at al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza. The IDF has produced evidence that the blast was caused by an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket fired from Gaza at Israel, and not an Israeli airstrike as argued by Hamas.
Following the Hamas terror group’s devastating onslaught on 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 that were flown as a sign of solidarity in front of city halls all over the country have been torn down and burnt. Several buildings in Berlin where Jews live had the star of David painted on doors and walls.
War erupted after Gazan terrorists rampaged through southern border communities, which saw some 2,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air, and sea, killing over 1,400 people — mostly civilians — and taking at least 199 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.
Since the October 7 massacre, Israel has responded with an intense bombing campaign that it says is aimed at destroying Hamas’s infrastructure, and has vowed to eliminate the entire terror group, which rules the Strip. According to Gaza’s Hamas-run health ministry, at least 3,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli strikes in Gaza, although many casualties have also been caused by Hamas and Islamic Jihad rockets falling short.