View of Yerevan, Armenia
View of Yerevan, ArmeniaiStock

Armenian authorities said on Thursday that they had opened an investigation after the country's only synagogue was vandalized in an arson attack, AFP reported.

Video from social media on Wednesday showed a person pouring burning fuel on the door of the Mordechai Navi Jewish Center, which serves the small Jewish population in the capital Yerevan.

"On November 15, the police received a call that unknown persons wanted to set fire to the doors of the building at 23 Nar-Dos Street in Yerevan. An investigation has been launched," local police told AFP.

Rima Varzhapetyan, the president of Armenia's Jewish community, said that the synagogue had not been seriously damaged and that no one was in the building at the time.

"We are horrified because Jews have never had any problems in Armenia," she told AFP.

Israel's non-resident ambassador to Armenia, Joel Lion, denounced the attack in a statement on social media.

"I call on the government of Armenia to condemn all forms of anti-Semitism, to fully investigate this crime, and bring the perpetrators to justice," he said.

The incident comes amid a spike in antisemitic incidents around the world since the October 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas, and Israel's subsequent war against the group in the Gaza Strip.

These include vandalism at a Jewish cemetery on Cleveland’s west side, where a number of headstones were found spray painted with red swastikas.

Last week, a Los Angeles woman was charged with hate crimes after ramming her vehicle through the gate of a local synagogue and cultural center.

The incident came days after Paul Kessler, a 69-year-old Jewish man, died from blunt-force head trauma after he was hit in the head with a megaphone during a confrontation with a counterprotester at a Los Angeles protest.

In Montreal, gunshots were fired at a Jewish school in the city twice within one week.