Amsterdam
Amsterdam iStock

The Dutch Jewish community is sharply focused on the trial of a Syria-trained Islamist accused of an arson and vandalism attacks against a popular kosher restaurant in Amsterdam.

In a Wednesday interview with NPO 1 television’s breakfast show, Esther Voet, the editor of Nieuw Israëlitisch Weekblad ("New Jewish Weekly"), said that the Jewish community is paying close attention to the trial.

“If there is a strong punishment, it will at least give a sign to the Jewish community that the threat posed by this man is finally being taken seriously,” she said.

Voet noted that the accused had received training in Syria “with a terrorist group.”

Thirty-two year old Salah A., is accused of lighting an Israeli flag on fire outside HaCarmel restaurant and smashing the eatery’s windows.

He was previously convicted in 2017 for a similar incident. The trial began on Wednesday.

“It is very important that this case is now substantive, because we can finally hear that this man had a terrorist motive,” Voet said.

In March, according to media reports, HaCarmel owner Daniel Bar-On said that his restaurant was located in a multicultural area full of diverse restaurants but his was the only one hit by repeated attacks.

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