Syrian Convicted of Assaulting Kippa-wearing Man to File Appeal

19-year-old refugee admitted to striking victim with a belt, but says it was not an anti-Semitic attack

A member of the parliament wearing kippa attends a session of the lower house of parliament Bundestag in Berlin, Germany, April 26, 2018.
\ AXEL SCHMIDT/ REUTERS

A 19-year-old Syrian national found guilty of assaulting an Israeli man wearing a skullcap in Berlin will appeal against the verdict, a spokeswoman for the court said on Saturday.

The refugee, who arrived in Germany as part of a migrant influx in 2015, allegedly used a belt to attack a 21-year-old Arab-Israeli wearing a kippah on April 17, shouting "Yahudi," the Arabic word for Jew.

He was found guilty of serious bodily harm and abuse by a German juvenile court at the end of June, receiving a four-week jail sentence, which he had already served during his pretrial detention. 

The man has admitted striking the victim with a belt, but denies that the attack was an anti-Semitic hate crime, as claimed by the prosecution. 
He has also said his actions were justified because he was insulted before he carried out the attack, and that he was under the influence of drugs. 
The case will now go to the regional court.

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The victim said following the incident that he was wearing a kippa as an experiment after a friend told him wearing one in Germany was unsafe. "Honestly, I'm surprised a thing like this could happen," he said in an interview. 

Following the incident, over 2,000 people in several German cities participated in protests against the attack.