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Night Violence in Berlin: ‘Let’s turn Neukölln into Gaza’

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On the second consecutive night in Berlin-Neukölln, an unauthorized pro-Palestinian demonstration escalated with riots, burning cars, the use of water cannons, and injuries to police officers. The situation began with reports of a death toll at a Gaza hospital, attributed to Israel by Hamas, which ignited tensions. However, available evidence suggested that the incident was more likely caused by a rocket fired by Palestinians from a cemetery near the hospital.

Following a rally at the foreign ministry in the heart of Berlin, primarily young men rioted from Sonnenallee to the High Deck housing estate in Neukölln, a neighborhood with a significant Muslim population.

Prior to the unrest, individuals with anti-Semitic sentiments had called for a riot on Telegram, encouraging participants to bring stones, batons, and masks with the intention of “turning Neukölln into Gaza” in solidarity with events in the Middle East.

During the unrest in Neukölln, aggressive rioters launched fireworks at police officers, and these events were broadcast on social media platforms. Streets in the area saw fires set, including an Audi vehicle and anti-Israeli graffiti on a local shopping center.

Over 400 rioters gathered in Sonnenallee and attacked police officers, resulting in the throwing of stones and bottles, the burning of garbage cans, and even an explosive device being hurled at police and their vehicle.

Tires and garbage bins were repeatedly set on fire, leading to the use of water cannons by the police, as the firefighters were unable to provide security due to the dangers posed by the rioters.

Around midnight, several fire engines arrived at the housing estate on Sonnenallee/Michael-Bohnen-Ring, but attackers set them on fire in various locations. The firefighters waited to extinguish the fires until an adequate police presence was established to protect them.

The outcome of the riots on Thursday morning included 174 arrests, 65 criminal charges, and 65 injured police officers.


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