Molotov cocktails thrown at Berlin synagogue, no damage: Police

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Attackers hurled two Molotov cocktails at a Jewish synagogue in Berlin early Wednesday, police said, as Chancellor Olaf Scholz vowed to fight anti-Semitism on German soil.

There were no reports of injuries or damage and police in the German capital said they were probing the roughly 3:45 am (0145 GMT) attack in the Mitte district.

"Two unidentified people came on foot and threw two burning bottles filled with liquid in the direction of the synagogue on Brunnenstrasse," a commercial and residential street, police said in a statement.

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"The bottles landed on the pavement and broke, extinguishing the fire."

As the masked assailants ran away, round-the-clock security forces stationed outside the synagogue noticed a "small fire" where the attackers had been standing and were able to put it out, "preventing further consequences".

While police were investigating at around 8 am, a 30-year-old man on an e-scooter stopped outside the synagogue and tried to approach the building.

When police moved in to stop him, he resisted and began shouting anti-Israel slogans.

Police said they released the man but have opened a probe against him on charges of incitement of racial hatred and an attempted attack on an officer.

Without addressing the incident specifically, Scholz posted a message on social media platform X condemning anti-Jewish hatred.

"Attacks against Jewish institutions, violent riots on our streets –- this is inhumane, disgusting and cannot be tolerated," said Scholz, currently on a trip to Egypt.

"Anti-Semitism has no place in Germany. My thanks go to the security forces, especially in this situation."

A police union and local media reported clashes between demonstrators and police late Tuesday at pro-Palestinian rallies in Berlin in the wake of Hamas's deadly October 7 attack on Israel.

Scholz had last week called on his compatriots to show solidarity with the country's Jewish population and guarantee their safety, condemning incidents at pro-Palestinian rallies, which have been largely banned since the Hamas onslaught.

Germany has stepped up protection at Jewish institutions across the country, citing its solemn responsibility for Jewish life since the Holocaust.

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