Syrian who attacked kippa-wearing man in Berlin charged with assault

Knaan Al S. was filmed lashing Arab Israeli man he mistook for a Jew, leading to outcry and massive ‘wear a kippa’ support rallies

People wear kippas at a demonstration in Berlin, April 25, 2018. (AP/Markus Schreiber)
People wear kippas at a demonstration in Berlin, April 25, 2018. (AP/Markus Schreiber)

A Syrian man living in Berlin was charged with assault after he attacked an Arab Israeli man wearing a kippa.

The alleged attacker, a Syrian Palestinian living in Germany since 2015, was identified as Knaan Al S, due to German privacy laws, according to The Associated Press. He was charged on Friday with causing bodily harm and slander. He turned himself in two days after the April 17 attack.

During the attack, the assailant lashed the man with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi.” The victim, Adam Armouch, an Arab Israeli, filmed the attack on his cellphone. He was accompanied by a 24-year-old man also wearing a kippa who reported being accosted verbally by three men.

Armoush, 21, who is not Jewish, told the Deutsche Welle news agency that he had grown up in an Arab-Christian family in Haifa, Israel, and said he put on the kippa as an experiment to see “how bad it is to walk Berlin’s streets as a Jew today.”

The attack took place in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood, which is popular among many Israelis living in Berlin. It is also home to an Orthodox Jewish community centered around the Lauder Yeshivas Beis Zion and the synagogue Kahal Adass Jisroel Berlin.

The attack led thousands of Jews and non-Jews alike to don kippot and participate in “Wear a Kippa” rallies in Berlin and other German cities to protest anti-Semitism.

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