A Swedish court on Monday sentenced two refugees and one rejected asylum seeker to prison for attacking a synagogue with Molotov cocktails in the wake of the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last year.
The court in the country’s second largest city of Gothenburg sentenced a 19-year-old Syrian to one year and the three months in prison, while two Palestinians, aged 24 and 22, received two years.
A few days after US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the Jewish state’s capital, a dozen people threw multiple burning objects at the Gothenburg synagogue on the evening of December 9, 2017.
The prosection argued that the charges were aggravated by “the crime’s motive to violate an ethnic group because of its beliefs”.
Some 20 young people participating in a celebration briefly took shelter in a cellar during the attack, but no one was injured.
The court added that the attack’s “purpose was to threaten, harm and violate both the members of the Jewish community and the Jewish people as a whole.”
The three men claimed throughout the trial that they were innocent. The rejected asylum seeker will be expelled after serving his prison sentence, the court said.
One of the men had googled the synagogue’s location on the day of the attack, the prosecution said.
There are around 20,000 Jews living in Sweden, according to the Official Council of Swedish Jewish Communities.
The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention says there have been between 150 and 280 anti-Semitic acts, including threats, insults and violence, each year in the past decade