A man was severely beaten outside his apartment Sunday in the Swedish town of Malmo for hanging an Israeli flag in his window, police said Monday.
Before the assault, a group of people smashed the window where the 38-year-old had hung the flag. He exchanged words with the group on the street and exited his apartment.
"After that the man went out onto the street to see what was going on. Then he was attacked and it was on the basis of the flag. That is the information we have at present," Linda Pleym, of the Malmo police, told reporters according to The Local.
Officers said the unnamed victim was attacked by about ten people and beaten with iron pipes. He managed to escape his attackers and was found on a nearby street by police. He was taken to local a hospital by ambulance and treated for serious injuries.
Police have not made any arrests but have interviewed witnesses in the area. They are expected to interview the victim early this week.
The beating is currently classified as aggravated assault, but Malmo police officer Marie Keismar said police are investigating it as a hate crime.
Malmo, a city of approximately 300,000, is home to several hundred Jews. A third of the population of the city is made up of people who were born in Muslim countries, according to The Times of Israel. The news agency also reports that anti-Semitic attacks typically increase across Europe during periods of unrest involving Israel.
Several dozen anti-Semitic attacks occur in Malmo each year according to police and community leaders, who say many of the repeated attacks occur on Jewish institutions.
Earlier this year, Jewish community leaders asked the district of Skane, where Malmo is located, to increase the number of security cameras around Jewish buildings, according to Michael Gelvan, chairman of the Nordic Jewish Security Council.
Per-Erik Ebbestahl, director of safety and security in the City of Malmo, said the city supported the request but it was declined by district leaders.