A man was severely assaulted in the Swedish city of Malmo on Sunday night after hanging an Israeli flag out of his window, according to local media reports.
Police suspect that the attack against the 38-year-old was a hate crime, The Local website reported. "Our initial evaluation is that this is a hate crime," policewoman Marie Keismar said.
The assault took place shortly before midnight on Sunday in the southern city. Beforehand, the window where the man hung the flag was smashed.
"After that the man went out onto the street to see what was going on. Then he was attacked and it was on the basis of the flag. That is the information we have at present," Linda Pleym of the Malmö police said, according to The Local.
The man was attacked by some ten people using iron pipes, who chased him from the building. He managed to escape but sustained serious injuries. He was found by police nearby street and transferred to hospital.
No arrests have been made, but local witnesses have been interviewed. Police are treating the crime as an aggravated assault. They are set to interview the victim later on Monday.
Several hundred Jews live in Malmo, a city of approximately 300,000 where a third of the population is made up of people who were born in Muslim countries or whose parents were born in those countries.
Several dozen anti-Semitic attacks occur in Malmo annually, according to community leaders and police, including repeated attacks on Jewish institutions.
Across Europe, attacks against Jews increase during periods of unrest connected to Israel.
On April 16, the district of Skane, where Malmo is located, declined the Jewish community’s request to increase the number of security cameras around Jewish buildings, according to Michael Gelvan, chairman of the Nordic Jewish Security Council, and Per-Erik Ebbestahl, director of safety and security in the City of Malmo.
The municipality supported the request, Ebbestahl said.
County officials did not reply to request for further information by JTA.