Police in the southern German state of Bavaria today carried out several specialized operations targeting 17 people who allegedly made anti-Semitic comments online and celebrated terrorist attacks against Israel by the Islamist group Hamas, DPA reported.
According to Bavarian police, the suspects are under criminal investigation on suspicion of incitement, the use of symbols of banned terrorist groups and the justification of criminal acts in relation to their social media posts.
According to the authorities, the suspects are two women and 15 men between the ages of 18 and 62. Police said they questioned the individuals involved and seized items that could be used as evidence, including cellphones and laptops, during several raids in Munich and other parts of the province.
Authorities said one of the suspects is believed to have sent a sticker to a WhatsApp group depicting a clown with the words “Gas the Jews”. Another suspect is said to have posted on his profile that “Jewish sons” deserve nothing more than to be slaughtered and “exterminated”. The publication in question reportedly ended with the words “Free Palestine.”
“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism characterizes the everyday life of many Jews in Germany. The terrorist attack by Hamas against Israel also affects their lives” here, said Michael Weinzirl, the Bavarian police commissioner in charge of investigating hate crimes. “It is important to show the Jews and the Israelis that here in Bavaria we stand behind them, that here we protect them and also protect them from hostility,” he stressed. The commissioner promised that the authorities would punish criminal statements made both online and during demonstrations.