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German man, 83, assaulted at rally for kidnapped Israeli teens

BERLIN (JTA) — An 83-year-old man was thrown to the ground during a solidarity rally in Germany for three Israeli teens kidnapped in the West Bank.

The incident took place at a national “Bring Back Our Boys” rally in Hamburg on June 19 organized by the Young Forum of the German-Israel Society and the Hamburg for Israel network, the Juedische Allgemeine, Germany’s main Jewish newspaper, reported Monday.

A counter-demonstrator reportedly threw the elderly man to the ground. His daughter also was assaulted physically and verbally while trying to protect him. The man was treated in the hospital for a head wound.

A complaint was lodged with police.

The counter-demonstration reportedly was organized by the German branch of the anti-globalization ATTAC group.

Dieter Graumann, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, told the Allgemeine that he was shocked and extremely worried that “this kind of pure hatred against Israel not only exists in Germany but is expressed in violent assaults.” He said he was counting on local authorities to “quickly apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.”

Ina Dinslage, spokeswoman for the Young Forum in Hamburg, also expressed shock at the attack.

“We wanted to show our solidarity with the kidnapped teens,” she told the Allgemeine.

Graumann said he hoped for more such demonstrations for democracy and peace, “values that Israel has always stood for.”

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