Israeli, Jewish leaders respond to Germany Yom Kippur attack

Cheryl Sanders
October 10, 2019

Police officers cross a wall at a crime scene in Halle, Germany, Wednesday after a shooting episode. He continued to a kebab shop nearby, where he shot one man dead.

"That was a shock for us, that was Yom Kippur, all phones were switched off, we had to understand what was going on first - then switch on my phone and then call the police", he said.

Several shots were fired and the suspected attackers fled the scene in a auto, according to Germany's Federal Police.

The video, filmed with a head-mounted camera, shows the heavily-armed gunman driving up to the synagogue in the eastern city of Halle on and trying to get in whilst ranting about Jews.

"It is scandalous that police were not protecting the synagogue in Halle on a holiday like Yom Kippur", he said.

"We barricaded our doors from inside and waited for the police", he said, adding that "in between, we carried on with our service".

Giving up on the synagogue, he shoots a woman on the street, but his weapon misfires, as it does throughout the attack, when he attempts to shoot another person.

Two people also suffered serious bullet wounds in the attack and were being operated on, a spokesman for the city's hospital said. "The fact that, 75 years after the Holocaust, such groups are gaining influence in Germany speaks volumes".

Germany's federal prosecutor took over the investigation, a move spokeswoman Carolin Urban said "means that one can assume that this case is of relevance to the security of Germany".

Bild daily reported that one of the two shot dead were killed in front of the synagogue, while a hand grenade was also flung into a Jewish cemetery.

Another eyewitness, Conrad Roesler, described the attack on the kebab bistro.

Rössler said the man then opened fire at "least once" into the shop where there were between five and six customers. "It was really panic but I have to say after that, when the police came, we continued with the worship service, that lasted another three hours, the synagogue worship service".

In chilling echoes of a far-right attack on two New Zealand mosques earlier this year, the helmet-mounted camera video from Halle shows the suspect arriving at the synagogue in a auto.

More people watch live streams on Twitch than other platforms, including YouTube and Facebook, according to the New York Times.

The violence occurred on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the calendar in Judaism when Jews fast, seeking atonement.

The U.S. Embassy in Berlin issued a statement that said, "today's attack is an attack on all of us, and the perpetrators must be held accountable".

The shooter, named by local press as Stephan B, a 27-year-old German, created a channel on Twitch two months prior to the attack, in which two were killed.

Mr Luebcke's killing has deeply shaken Germany, raising questions about whether it has failed to take seriously a rising threat from right-wing extremists.

The former communist states in east Germany have also gained notoriety for their far-right extremists.

Most Jewish institutions in Germany's large cities have a near-permanent police guard due to occasional anti-Semitic attacks by both far-right activists and Islamist militants.

Fears of a new Islamist attack were also revived on Monday when a Syrian man hijacked a articulated lorry and smashed it into cars stopped at a traffic light in the city of Limburg, injuring several people.

Other reports by iNewsToday