Jewish student attacked with shovels in Germany

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Jewish student attacked with shovels in Germany

A Jewish student was seriously injured in an attack by a man wielding a shovel as he entered a synagogue in the northern city of Hamburg.

The 26-year-old suffered serious head injuries and was taken to hospital, according to local media.

The alleged attacker has been arrested and police have confirmed they are investigating the case as attempted murder for anti-Semitic purposes.

Last month, Chancellor Angela Merkel warned of rising anti-Semitism.

The incident occurred nearly a year after an armed man attacked a synagogue in the city of Halle during Yom Kippur, killing two people.

The victim of Sunday's attack was entering the synagogue when she was repeatedly punched in the head by the attacker.

The suspect, 29, was dressed in military clothing and had a hand-drawn swastika in his pocket, police said.

Police said the suspect was in a confused state when he was arrested, apparently by officers guarding the synagogue.

“The current assessment of the situation suggests that this is an attack with anti-Semitic motives,” a statement from police and prosecutors said.

They added that the case was being treated as “attempted murder with grievous bodily harm”.

German Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht condemned the attack. “The hatred against the Jews is a shame for our country,” she said.

Anti-Semitic crimes have increased in Germany in recent years. Last year, more than 2 anti-Semitic offenses were recorded.

The same year, the German government's anti-Semitism commissioner urged Jews to avoid wearing a skullcap in public.

German Jews have watched with concern the rise of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) which, since 2017, has been the main opposition party.

The AfD is openly against immigration but denies holding anti-Semitic views, even though a number of their political figures have drawn criticism for statements about the Holocaust.

Germany is home to the third largest Jewish population in Western Europe.

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