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An argument over the Middle East conflict leaves a Jewish student hospitalized in Berlin

BERLIN (AP) — A college student in Berlin beat a Jewish classmate until he was hospitalized after the two got into an argument Friday night about the Israel-Hamas conflict, police said.

The 30-year-old Jewish student was out with an acquaintance in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood shortly before midnight on Friday when he encountered a 23-year-old fellow student from the university.

The two students — the 23-year-old, who held strong pro-Palestinian views, and the 30-year-old Jewish student, who had posted pro-Israel views on social media — got into a heated discussion.

As the argument escalated, the 23-year-old repeatedly punched the 30-year-old in the face until he fell to the ground, police said. The suspect kicked the older student while he was lying on the ground, then fled the scene.

The victim was brought to the hospital with facial fractures. Police said his injuries were not life-threatening.

Police eventually traced the suspect to his home in Berlin’s Schöneberg neighborhood, where they conducted a search and seized evidence, including his smartphone. Investigations are ongoing, police said.

The incident comes amid a drastic rise in antisemitic incidents in Germany, which have grown more common since the Hamas attack on Israel on Oct. 7 and Israel's military offensive in Gaza, which is now in its fourth month.