Germany Records 4,300 Criminal Acts Related to Gaza War

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Marco Buschmann, Germany’s Justice Minister Marco Buschmann, speaks at a dialogue forum on German Unity Day.
Credit: Markus Scholz/dpa

Authorities in Germany have registered some 4,300 criminal offences related to the Middle East conflict, including almost 500 acts of violence, the country’s justice minister revealed on Sunday.

Marco Buschmann cited the figures on Sunday at the Jewish Community Day in Berlin, an event lasting several days that has been attended by German leaders including Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

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The law must be strictly applied in these cases, he said.

He urged the interior ministers of the federal states to change police tactics at demonstrations and to prioritize securing evidence over de-escalation.

Buschmann said that Stars of David were being sprayed on houses, Israeli flags were being set alight and that there were hundreds of threats of destruction and murder against Israel and Jews at demonstrations.

This “all has an effect,” he said. Jews are afraid to speak Hebrew in public or wear a kippah, he said. Organizers are cancelling events due to security concerns and participation in community life is declining.

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“This is the seed of hatred that is unfortunately sprouting,” he said.

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Buschmann emphasized what had already been done to combat anti-Semitism and anti-Semitic acts: Hamas had been banned from operating and the Palestinian group Samidoun had been disbanded; the phrase “from the river to the sea, Palestine will be free” is banned in all languages in Germany because it denies Israel’s right to exist, he said.

Buschmann has also asked the European Commission to ban the online sale of T-shirts with this slogan on it.

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