At least 65 police officers were wounded in Berlin on Wednesday as they attempted to break up violent anti-Israel riots in the German capital’s Neukölln borough, officials said.
The officers were injured by “stones, flammable liquid and acts of resistance” as hundreds of primarily young Muslim men defied a ban on gatherings in support of Hamas terrorism, Berlin police said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
Germany’s Bild daily said a call had gone out on Telegram calling on men to turn Neukölln , often called “little Gaza” due to its sizeable Arab population, into the Gaza Strip.
“Burn everything,” the message reportedly read.
A police spokeswoman said 174 people were arrested, of whom 65 will be facing criminal investigations, per AFP.
‘Never accept when attacks carried out against Jewish institutions’
Hamas terrorists killed 1,400 Israelis and wounded more than 4,500 in a massive offensive launched from the Gaza Strip on Oct. 7, which included the firing of thousands of rockets at Israel and the infiltration of the Jewish state by terrorist forces.
Terrorists took at least 203 hostages from Israel to the Strip during the invasion, Israel Defense Forces Spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Thursday, adding that the number is not final. At least eight Germans are among those kidnapped by Hamas, according to Berlin.
In addition, a “single-digit number” of German nationals are believed to have “fallen victim to Hamas terror,” German Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Christian Wagner told journalists on Wednesday without giving further details.
Hamas’s rampage has seen Israel unleash unprecedented air power against terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip as troops prepare for an expected ground operation.
On Tuesday, an explosion rocked the courtyard of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City. Hamas claimed the blast killed 471 Palestinians and immediately blamed Israel, accusing the IDF of deliberately striking the hospital.
The IDF, U.S. President Joe Biden and the Pentagon have all confirmed that the explosion was caused by an errant Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket. Nonetheless, angry demonstrators have staged protests in front of Israeli diplomatic missions around the world.
Last week, Germany announced a ban on pro-Hamas and most other pro-Palestinian demonstrations of the sort that have been seen across much of Europe and parts of the United States, which often include expressions of antisemitism—verbal and otherwise.
Germany’s Jewish community has faced violent attacks over the past several days, mainly from Germany’s growing Muslim community, which has seen a rapid influx due to the country’s asylum policy.
On Wednesday, unknown persons hurled two Molotov cocktails at the headquarters of the Kahal Adass Jisroel Association, a Jewish community group. The Molotov cocktails failed to reach the building and exploded on the pavement, police said.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz condemned the attack while visiting Egypt, saying, “We will never accept when attacks are carried out against Jewish institutions.”
Earlier this week, he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel to support the Jewish state in the fight against Hamas.
“It outrages me personally what some of them are shouting and doing, and I am convinced that Germany’s citizens are of the same opinion as me,” said Scholz, referring to celebrations within Germany in support of the terrorist assault on Israel’s southern border region.