Syrian convicted of Berlin assault on Israeli wearing kippah

Arab who assaulted man wearing a kippah in Berlin convicted but allowed to go free for time already served.

AFP and Arutz Sheva Staff,

German police, Berlin (file)
German police, Berlin (file)
Chen Leopold/Flash90

A German court convicted a Palestinian Arab man from Syria Monday on assault charges forattacking an Israeli man wearing a kippah.

Knaan al-Sebai, 19, was sentenced to four weeks' juvenile detention but allowed to walk free, having already served over two months in pre-trail detention.

"I made a mistake and I have learnt from it," he told the Berlin court, after a trial in which he had denied the April 17 attack was motivated by anti-Semitism.

A video of the street assault, filmed by the victim on his smartphone, had sparked widespread public revulsion as it spread on social media, and triggered street rallies in solidarity with Jews.

The footage shows the attacker, one of a group of three, shouting "yahudi" -- Jew in Arabic -- before striking the victim, leaving him injured.

The victim, a 21-year-old student, later revealed that he is not Jewish but an Israeli Arab called Adam, who was walking at the time with a German-Moroccan friend aged 24.

Adam, a veterinary student, has said they had wanted to test whether wearing a kippa was safe in the fashionable inner Berlin district of Prenzlauer Berg.

The attack was the latest to raise alarm bells about renewed anti-Semitism in Germany from both the far-right and a large influx of predominantly Muslim asylum seekers since 2015.

Days after the assault, some 2,000 people rallied at a "Berlin Wears Kippah" solidarity demonstration, matched by smaller events in several other German cities.

Chancellor Angela Merkel denounced the emergence of "another form of anti-Semitism" beyond that of right-wing extremist groups, from Muslim refugees.

She reaffirmed that the security of Jews and the state of Israel was a central concern for Germany, given its "eternal responsibility" for the Holocaust in which the Nazis murdered six million European Jews.


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