WATCH | German synagogue attack joins growing number of attacks on synagogues around the world

2019-10-10 10:08

At least two people were shot dead in the German city of Halle on Wednesday, with witnesses saying a synagogue was among the gunmen's targets as Jews marked the holy day of Yom Kippur, AFP reported.

The attack isn't the first of its kind. Major attacks on synagogues and other places of Jewish worship and community life have taken place across the world over recent years.


On April 11, 2002, 21 people died in a suicide attack on the Ghriba synagogue, on the island of Djerba, in the south of the country. Among the dead were 14 Germans, five Tunisians and two French citizens.

A tanker truck driven by a Tunisian and filled with inflammable gas blew up outside the synagogue, which is the oldest place of Jewish worship in Africa.

The attack was claimed by Al-Qaeda.


On November 15, 2003, vehicles filled with explosives were used against two synagogues in Istanbul, Neve Shalom and Beth Israel, killing 30 and injuring 300. Five days later, the British consulate and an HSBC building came under attack.

A Turkish cell of Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the attacks.


On November 18, 2014, an attack by two Palestinians against a synagogue in western Jerusalem claimed five dead: Three Israeli-Americans, one Israeli-Briton and a Druze policeman.

The attack was the first ever against a Jewish place of worship in Jerusalem. Both attackers were shot dead by police.


On February 14, 2015, a Danish citizen of Palestinian origin, having pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, opened fire on a cultural centre in Copenhagen which was hosting a freedom of speech conference, and killed a film-maker.

Later that night, he also killed a 37-year old Jewish man who was standing guard outside a synagogue where a bar mitzvah was being held.

The attacker was then killed in a shootout with police.

United States

On October 27, 2018, a 46-year-old gunman burst into a synagogue in Pittsburg during Shabbat services, killing eleven people. He reportedly yelled "All Jews must die!" during the attack. He was indicted on 29 counts, some of which carry the death penalty.

On April 27, 2019, a 19-year-old man claiming to be anti-Semitic and Islamophobic killed one woman and injured three others, including a rabbi, when he attacked a synagogue near San Diego, California, on the last day of Passover.

Not just synagogues

Many other places of Jewish community life have been attacked over the years.

In France on March 19, 2012, a 23-year old French-Algerian Islamist killed three children and a teacher in a Jewish school in the southwest of the country.

In the US, on April 13, 2014, a white supremacist known for his anti-Semitic views attacked a Jewish community centre and retirement home in Kansas, killing three people, none of whom were actually Jewish.

In Belgium on May 24, 2014, a man opened fire in the lobby of the Jewish Museum in Brussels, killing four. The alleged killer was arrested in France and extradited to Belgium for trial. He was sentenced to life in prison.

In France, on January 9, 2015, four Jews were killed during a hostage-taking in a Jewish supermarket in Paris by a jihadist.

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