Vienna, Austria
Vienna, Austria iStock

An Austrian court on Thursday handed a 32-year-old Syrian a three-year jail term for vandalizing a synagogue and other anti-Semitic attacks, AFP reported.

The court in the southeastern city of Graz was placed in a care institution after finding the man, who committed the offenses in August 2020, to be psychologically disturbed, a spokesperson told the news agency.

The man was arrested after he threw stones and scrawled pro-Palestinian slogans on the town synagogue before threatening the head of the local Jewish community.

In court, the man said he regretted actions that the prosecutor said were motivated by "hatred of Jews, homosexuals and prostitutes", the APA news agency reported.

At the time of the arrest, President Alexander Van der Bellen stressed anti-Semitism had no place in a country whose 192,000-strong pre-war Jewish population was decimated during the Holocaust under Nazi rule.

The country registered 585 anti-Semitic acts last year alone, according to Vienna's Jewish IKG community association.

Earlier this year, the Austrian government presented a national strategy on fighting rising anti-Semitism.

The plan includes improving the protection of synagogues, improved education about Judaism and stricter prosecution of hate crimes against Jews.

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