16:30 GMT +314 December 2019
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    London Synagogue Targeted in Anti-Semitic Attack

    © AFP 2019 / ADRIAN DENNIS
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    A group of 20 youths shouting "we will kill you" forced entry to a north London synagogue on Saturday evening, leading to a physical confrontation with worshippers inside.

    A group of at least 20 youths gathered outside a synagogue in Stamford Hill, north London on Saturday evening, shouting anti-Semitic slogans and threatening "we will kill you," before breaking the windows and doors to gain entry and confront those inside.

    According to reports, one person was injured in the attack, and police have made eight arrests in connection with their investigation.

    Saturday's attack comes amid rising fears of anti-Semitic violence in the area; religious leaders from Stamford Hill's Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities met last week to express their opposition to a march planned for the weekend by a far-right nationalist group through Stamford Hill, which is home to over 20,000 Hasidic Jews, one of the largest communities in Europe.

    The march, called 'Liberate Stamford Hill' was due to take place on March 22, and a Facebook page was set up to advertise the event listed more than 50 attendees before being taken down. The demonstration was postponed after organizer Joshua Bonehill was arrested by police last month for sending anti-Semitic messages on Twitter.

    Bonehill also advertised the march with an internet posting entitled "An Urgent Appeal: The Jewification of Great Britain" with the complaint that "If the sheer number of Non-White immigrants was not bad enough, the Jewish occupiers of Stamford Hill have now established their own Police Force to which is known to them as the 'Shomrim Police,'" and which has the support of the Metropolitan Police and the local MP.

    The Shomrim is a civilian security group run by volunteers from north London's Hasidic Jewish community, which patrols the area looking for anti-Semitic hate crimes and general neighborhood disorder. The Shomrim also receive training from the Metropolitan Police, who last month released figures showing an alarming rise in anti-Semitic hate crime over the last year in London, with 400 anti-Semitic offences recorded in 2014, compared to 169 offences recorded in 2013. 

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