Düsseldorf (AP) - Unknown people lit an Israeli flag that was hoisted in front of the Düsseldorf City Hall.
The public prosecutor's office and state security are investigating suspected violations of flags and emblems of foreign states as well as “damage to property that is harmful to the general public”, as the police announced.
To send a signal against anti-Semitism, Mayor Stephan Keller (CDU) hoisted a new Israel flag on Friday.
Employees of the public order office had called the police because the four by five meter flag on the flagpole had damage on one side, which had apparently been caused by fire. The fabric had contracted due to the action of heat, and there was no acute fire. Investigators are looking for witnesses who made suspicious observations on Thursday evening. "Attacks on Jewish life such as the arson attack on the Israel flag on Düsseldorf City Hall - are unbearable and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms," emphasized Mayor Keller. The city is "firmly on the side of the people of Jewish faith and on the side of the State of Israel."
Israel flags had also been lit in other cities in the past few days.
After the escalation in the Middle East conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, there were anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli demonstrations in several cities in Germany.
Israel flags were also set on fire.
In Gelsenkirchen, the police stopped an anti-Semitic demonstration on Wednesday evening.
About 180 people had moved from the Gelsenkirchen station forecourt towards the synagogue and shouted anti-Semitic slogans.
Israeli flags have also been stolen from various locations in Germany.
© dpa-infocom, dpa: 210514-99-597776 / 3