A Syrian asylum-seeker who in 2017 broke into a kosher restaurant in Amsterdam was again arrested for smashing its windows while holding a lighter, JTA reported on Friday.
Officers on Friday morning used pepper spray to subdue the 31-year-old man, Saleh Ali, outside HaCarmel restaurant.
He had used a metal pipe to smash the restaurant’s windows and was holding a lighter in the other hand, according to the report.
He refused to let go of the objects, when police subdued him, police said in a statement. It called Ali’s actions “vandalism.”
According to Hidde van Koningsveld, policy officer at the Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, which monitors anti-Semitic incidents in the Netherlands, the attack was the fifth case of vandalism or intimidation in two and a half years.
In 2017, Ali shattered glass at the Amsterdam kosher restaurant while waving a Palestinian Arab flag, as two police officers and passers-by watched. The officers arrested him after he broke into the restaurant through the door he had smashed and removed an Israeli flag.
The same restaurant was targeted again in early January of 2018, when vandals smashed the newly-replaced windows. The owners told local media that the restaurant is often the target of such destructive acts, and that they have asked local authorities' permission to place security cameras around the site.
Ali, meanwhile, 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.
Commenting on Friday’s incident, van Koningsveld wrote on Twitter: “If the suspect is back on the streets in no time, and charged only with ‘vandalism,” then [Justice Minister] Ferd Grapperhaus will have some explaining to do.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)