A live-streamed shooting outside a Jewish synagogue on Wednesday (Oct 10) in the German city of Halle has left two people dead and two others seriously injured, Reuters reported.
German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said that the shooting was anti-Semitic. He added that federal prosecutors who are investigating believe there it could be an extremist attack.
According to reports, a heavily armed assailant attemped to storm into the synagogue, but was thwarted as the gates were shut. Over 70 to 80 people inside observing Yom Kippur, Judaism's holiest day. He then went on a shooting rampage, killing a woman outside and a man in a nearby kabob shop.
Before embarking on the shooting spree, the gunman streamed a live video on Twitch, an online streaming service popular with gamers and a subsidiary of Amazon’s. The attacker was heard saying that he was a Holocaust denier and denounced feminism, and displayed stockpiles of guns, ammunition and explosive devices.
The live-streamed video then showed the attacker shooting a woman in the street after failing to enter the synagogue, then entering the kebab shop and killing another person before fleeing.
Earlier this year in March, a far-right white supremacist killed 51 people at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and livestreamed much of the attack on Facebook.
Expressing her solidarity with the Jewish Community, German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited a Berlin synagogue where a vigil was being held outside. Merkel’s spokesman tweeted: “We must oppose any form of anti-Semitism.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted condolences to families of the victims and called on Germany to fight anti-Semitism.
“The terrorist attack against the community in Halle in Germany on Yom Kippur, the holiest day of our nation, is yet another expression that anti-Semitism is growing in Europe,” he said.
Given the rise of neo-nazis, Germany has seen a huge surge in antisemitic violence. German police received more than 400 reports of anti-Semitic attacks only in the first half of 2018.
Earlier this October, a man wielding a knife climbed over a barrier at Berlin's New Synagogue on the eve of Shabbat, during the holy period between the holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Security personnel caught the attacker, whose motive remained unclear. Police released him afterwards, a decision Jewish leaders called "a failure" of justice.
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