German court calls synagogue torching an act to ‘criticize Israel’

German court calls synagogue torching an act to ‘criticize Israel’

A regional court in Germany has decided that a brutal attempt to set fire to a local synagogue in 2014 was an act meant to express criticism against Israel’s conduct in its ongoing conflict with Hamas.

A German regional court in the city of Wuppertal affirmed a lower court decision last Friday stating that a violent attempt to burn the city’s Bergische Synagogue by three men in 2014 was a justified expression of criticism of Israel’s policies.

Johannes Pinnel, a spokesman for the regional court, explained the court’s decision regarding the three German Palestinians who sought to firebomb the Wuppertal synagogue in July 2014. The court said in its 2015 decision that the three men wanted to draw “attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel and deemed the attack not to be motivated by antisemitism.

Israel launched Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014 to stop Hamas rocket attacks into Israeli territory.

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