Polish synagogue

A security video showed that three Molotov cocktails were thrown within a matter of seconds at the synagogue.

By Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Warsaw authorities detained a teenager on Wednesday after a historic synagogue in Poland’s capital was hit by a bottle containing a flammable substance, police said, in an incident that prompted condemnation from Polish political leaders.

“Police officers … in cooperation with the Internal Security Agency (ABW), detained a 16-year-old man, a Polish citizen, in connection with the incident that took place last night on the premises of the synagogue,” police said in a post on social media platform X.

Nobody was hurt in the incident, which took place around 1 am (2300 GMT on Tuesday), Poland’s chief rabbi Michael Schudrich told Reuters earlier.

Jewish community officials said security camera footage appeared to show that three Molotov cocktails were thrown within a matter of seconds although it was not clear if one or more assailants were involved.

“We were informed overnight about an incident involving a bottle containing a flammable liquid being thrown onto synagogue grounds,” a police spokesperson said earlier on Wednesday.

Attacks against Jews and Jewish targets have risen worldwide since war erupted in Gaza last October following an attack on Israel by Hamas-led terrorists and Israel‘s subsequent military offensive.

The Warsaw incident left soot marks around a ground-floor window of the synagogue as well as a burned area on the grass below.

“Look there,” Schudrich told reporters at a news conference at the synagogue, pointing at the burn marks on the building.

“If it [the bottle] had gone 15 centimeters to the left it would have reached the window and possibly inside the synagogue. There’s a library there.”

“Here there’s no context, there’s no other possibility — it’s antisemitism,” he added when asked about a possible motive.

Israel‘s ambassador to Poland, Yacov Livne, said the synagogue was the only one in Warsaw to have survived World War Two and the Holocaust.

“Outrageous antisemitic attacks such as this cannot be tolerated today. The perpetrators must be found and punished,” Livne wrote on X.

Polish President Andrzej Duda called the attack “shameful.” “There is no place for antisemitism in Poland! There is no place for hatred in Poland!” he said on X.

Presidential cabinet member Wojciech Kolarski was quoted by the PAP news agency as saying that the president had reacted “immediately and unambiguously” to the news as “it is in the interest of many of Poland’s enemies to show Poland in a bad light.”

“The attack on the Nozyk Synagogue in Warsaw is a very simple way of building an image of a Poland that does not exist, but which our enemies can easily replicate in the international media,” Kolarski was quoted as saying.