Multiple clashes between pro-Israel activists and pro-Palestinian demonstrators took place in New York City this week before and after the ceasefire was announced between Israel and Hamas late Thursday.
Ongoing chaos in NYC’s Diamond District intensified on Thursday when someone from a car threw two commercial fireworks, prompting an explosion that injured at least one person. NYPD confirmed the incident to Fox News and said the department’s Arson Investigation Squad was probing the incident.
In Times Square, fights broke out between protesters on Thursday.
A day earlier before the ceasefire announcement, fights also broke out in Times Square.
Police said on Friday that more than two dozen people were arrested in the clashes, and a gang assault against a Jewish man was under investigation as a hate crime, Associated Press reported.
One video showed a group of attackers, presumed to be part of the pro-Palestinian demonstrations, attacking a man on the ground, who is presumed to be Jewish.
“The Hate Crime Task Force is investigating a gang assault of a Jewish man in Times Square,” the NYPD tweeted Thursday night.
Another group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators carrying Palestinian flags were captured on video attacking a group of diners on Thursday.
On Tuesday, two Jewish residents of New York City were targeted by a group of pro-Palestinian demonstrators outside a bagel shop. A group of approximately 500 pro-Palestinian protesters were staged outside a reportedly Jewish-owned Ess-A-Bagel shop in the Upper East Side.
Former Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers and friends Amit Skornik and Snir Dayan had just arrived at the bagel shop for lunch when Skornik told Dayan in Hebrew to conceal the Israeli flag on his motorcycle. The pro-Palestinian group overheard the Hebrew words and charged toward the pair, Dayan told Fox News.
Dayan said, “They wanted blood. I could see it in their eyes.” The attack was caught on video and shared on social media.
Skornik and Dayan fended of the swarming protesters with defensive punches until police intervened to break up the attack.
One officer saw Dayan strike an attacker and arrested him. He was later released and told to stay inside his home.
“It’s absolutely disgusting and unacceptable,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on WNYC public radio. “We had a man viciously beaten simply because he appeared to some individuals to be Jewish. We had folks throwing very potent fireworks and creating harm to others and burning some folks, at least one person.”