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Polish officials condemn arson attack on Warsaw synagogue

No one was hurt in the attack
No one was hurt in the attack - Copyright AFP -
No one was hurt in the attack - Copyright AFP -

Polish authorities on Wednesday condemned an arson attack against a Warsaw synagogue.

Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski, quoting the country’s chief rabbi, said “someone tried to set fire to the Nozyk synagogue with a Molotov cocktail”.

“Thank God no-one was hurt,” the minister added in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

“I condemn this shameful attack on the Nozyk synagogue in Warsaw,” Polish President Andrzej Duda wrote on X. “Anti-Semitism has no place in Poland. There is no place for hate in Poland.”

An AFP journalist at the scene saw a black stain across a window that appeared to have been caused by flames, but there was no major damage to the synagogue.

A statement from the Jewish community in Warsaw to AFP expressed its “concern and indignation” at the attack.

“Fortunately, the synagogue was empty at night and the material damage is minor,” it added.

The fire from the Molotov cocktail burned itself out outside the building, said the text, from Eliza Panek, vice president of the Jewish community in Warsaw.

“For the moment, we don’t know anything about the person or persons behind the attack, or their motives,” she added.

Warsaw police told AFP they “always take this kind of incident seriously” and the would do everything to ensure those responsible were punished.

So far, no one has claimed responsibility for the attack.

But Sikorski’s message speculated on who might have carried out the attack on the 20th anniversary of Poland’s membership of the European Union.

“Maybe the same ones who scrawled the Stars of David in Paris?” he said.

French prosecutors started an investigation after several dozen Jewish symbols were daubed on buildings in Paris in October as tensions increased amid Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza. 

France believes that Russian security services were behind the vandalism, an official French source said, but Russia has denied any involvement.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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