Sweden Jails Syrian And Palestinian Refugees For Trying To Burn Down A Synagogue

TT News Agency/Adam Ihse/via REUTERS

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Joshua Gill Religion Reporter

Swedish authorities imprisoned two Palestinian men and one Syrian man Monday for attempting to burn down a synagogue over the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The three convicted men were part of a masked crowd of at least a dozen people who threw firebombs at a synagogue in Goteborg, Sweden’s second largest city, on Dec. 9, 2017, but were the only men caught and sentenced in connection to the arson attack. Authorities claimed to have identified the men via surveillance footage from the synagogue’s cameras. The court sentenced two of the men to two years in jail and sentenced the third to 15 months, according to the Associated Press(RELATED: Amid Rising Anti-Semitism, Community Leader Urges German Jews Not To Wear Religious Head Dress)

Swedish authorities also revoked the asylum application of one of the men, a 22-year-old Palestinian, following his involvement in the attack. The other two men, ages 24 and 19, already had Swedish residency permits. All of the men pleaded innocent to the charge of attacking the synagogue.

The attack on the synagogue came in the wake of a 200-person rally in Malmö Sunday in which protesters waved Palestinian flags and shouted antisemitic slogans to protest President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven condemned both the rally and the attack on the synagogue at the time.

“I’m terribly upset over the attack on a synagogue in Goteborg yesterday and calls for violence against Jews at a demonstration in Malmo,” Lofven said in a Dec. 10, 2017 statement, according to CBS News. “There is no place for anti-Semitism in our Swedish society. The perpetrators will be held accountable.”

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