Syrian man confesses to attacking kippah-wearing Israeli Arab in Berlin
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Syrian man confesses to attacking kippah-wearing Israeli Arab in Berlin

Teenage assailant who has lived in Germany since 2015 says sorry for the attack, which went viral after being caught on film earlier this year

A screenshot from the Facebook video that went viral - of the 19-year-old Syrian assaulting a man wearing a kippah in Berlin. (Screenshot from Facebook)
A screenshot from the Facebook video that went viral - of the 19-year-old Syrian assaulting a man wearing a kippah in Berlin. (Screenshot from Facebook)

A Syrian man on trial in Berlin for attacking a man wearing a kippah confessed in court to the assault and apologised to the victim.

The alleged assailant, identified as a 19-year-old Syrian Palestinian living in Germany since 2015, turned himself in two days after the April 17 attack. He is being tried as a juvenile.

During the attack, the assailant lashed the man with his belt and repeated the Arabic word for Jew, “Yahudi.” The victim, Adam Armouch, an Arab Israeli, filmed the attack on his phone; the video went viral on social media. Armouch was accompanied by a 24-year-old man also wearing a kippah who reported being accosted verbally by three men.

In court Tuesday, the defendant said he had not noticed the kippah until after striking Armouch, and that he started attacking after the Israeli man’s friend insulted him, according to reports. He also told the court that he had smoked marijuana prior to the attack.

“I’m very sorry, it was a mistake,” the defendant told the court, insisting he was not anti-Semitic. “I didn’t want to hit him, I just wanted to scare him.”

A verdict is expected early next week. According to The Associated Press, there are no pleas in the German court system.

Armoush, 21, who is not Jewish, told the Deutsche Welle news agency that he had grown up in an Arab-Christian family in Haifa, Israel, and said he put on the kippah as an experiment to see “how bad it is to walk Berlin’s streets as a Jew today.” The attack took place in the trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighbourhood, which is popular among many Israelis living in Berlin.

The attack led thousands of Jews and non-Jews to don kippahs and participate in “Wear a Kippah” rallies in Berlin and other German cities to protest anti-Semitism.

Watch the viral video of the incident here:

+++ ???? ERNEUTE ANTISEMITISCHE ATTACKE IN BERLIN +++Keine Woche nach dem Yom HaShoa, dem Tag des Holocausts, wird wieder ein junger israeli am helllichten Tag in Berlin attackiert! Wie zuvor auch Yorai Feinberg, hat der Angegriffene die Tat filmen können – diesmal wurde der Täter sogar gewalttätig!Deutlich zu sehen: Ein südländisch aussehender Mann, der mit einem Gürtel mehrere Male zuschlägt.Deutlich zu hören: „YAHUDI“, das arabische Wort für Jude. Der attackierte junge Mann schreibt: „Ich wurde heute von zwei Personen attackiert, einfach weil ich mit der Kippa raus gehen wollte. Sowas schlimmes habe ich nicht erwartet.. noch in Berlin!!“???? Als Berliner bin ich schockiert und beschämt, als Repräsentant der Jüdischen Gemeinde zu Berlin sage ich: Die Polizei und Staatsanwaltschaft sind jetzt gefordert den Angreifer schnellstmöglich zu identifizieren und mit der vollen Härte unserer Gesetze zu betrafen. Die Beweise liegen auf der Hand! Trotz anhaltender öffentlicher Debatten, scheinen die bisher angewandten Schritte nicht zu fruchten. Wenn wir jetzt nicht endlich beginnen resolut durchgreifen, dann schreiten wir auf eine Zukunft zu, in der sich Juden in Deutschland nicht mehr frei auf die Straßen trauen werden.

Posted by Mike Samuel Delberg on Tuesday, 17 April 2018

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