Israelis Targeted in Danish Shopping Mall

Israelis Targeted in Danish Shopping Mall

Rabbi Yitzchok Loewenthal speaks with Israelis at the Copenhagen Chabad House.

Copenhagen, Denmark

December 31, 2008

( Two Israelis were shot Wednesday while managing their booth at a shopping mall in Odense, Denmark. According to Copenhagen's Chabad Rabbi Yitzchok Loewenthal, one of the victims is undergoing surgery for his wounds.

 Friends of the victims met with Copenhagen's Chabad Rabbi Yitzchok Loewenthal within minutes of learning of the attack. "They are concerned, of course," says Rabbi Loewenthal, but grateful that they are alive. 

 Rabbi Loewenthal was in contact with security at Denmark's Israeli embassy and police authorities following the attack, and says that police have recovered the black Audi getaway car, but have yet to apprehend the shooters.

 No one is confirming that this is related to Israel's defense operation in Gazan, but Arab demonstrators protested in the center of town yesterday, and at the Israeli embassy. Otherwise, says Loewenthal, things are generally quiet in Copenhagen. Denmark's Jewish population numbers roughly 8,000, with the majority in Copenhagen,

 By contrast, Odense, about 105 miles west of Copenhagen, has a strong Muslim population, and the victims were reportedly dealing with daily harassment by Muslims. Several years ago, recalls Rabbi Loewenthal, Chabad rabbinical students who had gone to Odense on outreach missions, were practically "stoned out of the city by local Muslims."

 Rabbi Loewenthal  told that he has confidence that the police will find the gunmen, but that he is beefing up security at the local Chabad House in Copenhagen anyway.  He will be visiting the victims in the hospital tomorrow.


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