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Dutch police hold suspect after window smashed at kosher restaurant

In 6th attack on eatery in recent years, vandal uses rock to break hole in window at Amsterdam’s HaCarmel restaurant before pushing flagpole with Israeli flag through the opening

Broken glass and a stone lie on the pavement as an Israeli flag sticks out of the window of HaCarmel kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 8, 2020, after a man smashed the window (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)
Broken glass and a stone lie on the pavement as an Israeli flag sticks out of the window of HaCarmel kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 8, 2020, after a man smashed the window (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Police used pepper spray to subdue a suspect arrested Friday after a window was smashed at a kosher restaurant in the Dutch capital, the sixth act of vandalism at the restaurant in recent years.

An attacker used a stone to smash a hole in one of the large windows of the HaCarmel restaurant in Amsterdam before pushing a flagpole with the Israeli flag through the hole.

Amsterdam police tweeted that they had arrested a suspect.

There was no mention of the man’s presumed motives or identity.

An Israeli flag sticks out of the window of HaCarmel kosher restaurant in Amsterdam, Netherlands, May 8, 2020, after a man smashed the window (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

In January, unidentified perpetrators placed a box resembling a homemade bomb on the restaurant’s doorstep.

In 2017, a 29-year-old man waving a Palestinian flag smashed the windows of HaCarmel with a wooden club, stealing an Israeli flag hanging there. Police officers stood by as he vandalized the place but arrested the suspect, a Syrian asylum seeker, when he came out.

He was convicted of vandalism after 52 days in jail while awaiting his trial but was released with no additional penalty. Dutch Jews criticized the ruling because it did not contain a reference identifying his actions as a hate crime.

The attack came on the 75th anniversary of the surrender of Nazi Germany to Allied forces in Europe, although there was no immediate indication of a link.

The vandalism also came after United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that the coronavirus pandemic is unleashing “a tsunami of hate and xenophobia, scapegoating and scare-mongering.”

The UN chief said that “anti-foreigner sentiment has surged online and in the streets, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories have spread, and COVID-19-related anti-Muslim attacks have occurred.”

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