12 die, 50 injured in Berlin truck carnage

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Chief Rabbi of France Haim Korsia, was one of the first to offer condolences to the people of Germany following a terrorist attack in Berlin last night which killed 12 and seriously injured over 50. A massive, stolen Polish truck ploughed into a Christmas market. Pictured is a policeman standing guard as medics assist victims. See story and more pictures inside…
by ANT KATZ | Dec 20, 2016

German police have detained a suspect – reportedly a Pakistani national - after the stolen, Polish-registered truck was deliberately driven into a packed Christmas market in Berlin, killing 12 people and injuring at least 50 more on Monday evening.

A passenger in the truck was among the dead.

(The Pakistani was released the next day as the search copntinued for Tuniaian-born asylum-seeker Anis Amri. He was later shot dead in Italy.)

The US has condemned “in the strongest terms” an attack on the Christmas market.“We have been in touch with German officials, and we stand ready to provide assistance as they recover from and investigate this horrific incident,” said US National Security Council spokesperson Ned Price.


Police in Berlin say they believe the incident was likely a “deliberate attack.” It involved a truck that hit pedestrians at a Christmas market at the Berlin square of Breitscheidplatz outside Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church, the Associated Press reported.

In July, more than 80 people died and hundreds were wounded in similar circumstances in Nice, France, where an Islamist drove a truck through a crowd of people on a busy promenade.

French Chief Rabbi tweets condolences

“With all my heart with the people of Berlin and all the people of Germany,” French Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia wrote on Twitter. “My prayers accompany you,” he wrote, adding the hashtags #Berlin, #Breitscheidplatz and “#ichbineinBerliner” -  a quote which means “I am a Berliner” from a 1963 speech by US President John F Kennedy in West Berlin.

Chief Rabbi Korsia and South African Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein recently travelled together in Europe to promote the latter’s Shabbos Project.

Police in Germany said the driver of the truck initially fled the scene and that the suspected driver was later arrested near the site of the attack.

After the July 14 incident in Nice, the Islamic State terror group claimed that the alleged attacker, Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, was one of its “soldiers”.

Footage from the scene of the incident in Berlin showed the black truck with its front end wedged between the market stalls amid upturned boxes and crates.

Just last month the US State Department warned travellers that there is a heightened risk of terrorist attacks throughout Europe during the holiday season.

Story continues below pictures...

JTA Berlin

ABOVE: Rescue workers outside a tent in the area after a truck ploughed through the Christmas market in Berlin - PIC: Sean Gallup/Getty Images; and BELOW: An aerial view of the carnage



The Department of State wrote prophetically on their website: “US citizens should exercise caution at holiday festivals, events and outdoor markets.”

JTA reports that in recent months, Western European intelligence agencies added some churches to list of at-risk locales which for years have included shuls and other Jewish institutions.

In July, two assailants who had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State killed a priest during an attack in a church in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, a suburb of Rouen about 65 miles northwest of Paris. They shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “G-d is great” in Arabic, before slitting the priest’s throat, according to reports.


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