Teacher and student brawl over Palestinian flag in Berlin (VIDEO)
Violence broke out at a school in Berlin after a student refused a teacher’s demand to put away a Palestinian flag, police have said. The incident comes amid the worst fighting in decades between Israel and militant group Hamas.
The altercation happened on Monday at the Ernst-Abbe school in the German capital’s southeastern Neukolln district, which has a large Palestinian population. The fight was caught on video and widely shared on social media.
The clip shows the student taking a Palestinian flag out of his backpack in the playground. He is immediately approached by the teacher, and a heated argument breaks out.
At one point in the footage, the teacher is seen slapping the student in the face. The young man responds by kicking the teacher in the stomach, sending him to the ground.
Police issued a statement saying that the brawl had started after the student refused to put away the Palestinian flag.
X hats gelöscht. Warum? Hier erneut das Video vom Ernst Abbe Gymnasium in Neukölln. Übrigens redet die Polizei erst heute mit den Schüler*innen. Im Polizeibericht ist einfach die Aussage des Lehrers wiedergegeben.Was haben wir beim Dilan Prozess, beim NSU und anderen Themen… https://t.co/n6J7BliQBLpic.twitter.com/71qnOpf4Wp— Ferat Koçak (@der_neukoellner) October 10, 2023
The teacher told officers that he had acted in self-defense because the young man headbutted him first, according to the statement.
A headbutt was not seen in the clip, and the student’s family also claim that the teacher had resorted to violence first.
Police are examining the incident over claims of mutual bodily harm, while the German security agency responsible for dealing with politically motivated crimes is also investigating.
Berlin has been tense since Palestinian group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel on Saturday. The German city has seen pro-Israeli and pro-Palestinian protests, with the latter resulting in clashes with police and arrests.
“Berlin stands firmly on Israel’s side,” the capital’s mayor, Kai Wegner, insisted during a rally on Sunday.
Israel has said that more than 1,200 of its citizens have been killed as a result of the attack by Hamas. The latest data from Gaza’s Health Ministry suggests that some 950 people have lost their lives in Israeli retaliatory strikes on the Palestinian enclave.