The New York Police Department has opened a hate-crime investigation into the beating of a Jewish man during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Manhattan’s Times Square on Thursday night, police officials said.
A video of the incident posted to social media shows several people kicking and beating the man near a parked car as protesters moved through the area, the officials said Friday. The officials didn’t say if the man was injured. The NYPD Hate Crimes Task Force is searching for suspects in the beating.
The attack happened as dozens of pro-Palestinian marchers clashed with pro-Israeli counterdemonstrators and police, the officials said. Police made 26 arrests on charges including disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon, the officials said. At least one person was injured.
The NYPD is also investigating two incidents of commercial fireworks being fired at counterdemonstrators on West 47th St., the officials said.
Several pro-Palestinian protests have been held in New York City in the past week in response to fighting in the Middle East between Israel and Palestinian militant group Hamas. The two sides agreed to a cease-fire that began early Friday after 11 days of conflict.
New York City Mayor
Bill de Blasio
said on Twitter Friday that anti-Semitism has no place in New York. “There’s no excuse for violence against someone because of who they are,” Mr. de Blasio wrote. “We will bring the perpetrators of this vicious act of hate to justice.”
Devorah Halberstam, co-founder and director of external affairs of the Jewish Children’s Museum and chairwoman of the NYPD Hate Crime Review Panel, said that individuals who committed hate crimes during Thursday’s protests must be arrested and prosecuted. The panel was created to help police identify hate crimes.
“Yesterday was an attack on this man simply because he is Jewish,” Ms. Halberstam said.
Write to Ben Chapman at Ben.Chapman@wsj.com
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Source: WSJ – US News