NYPD cites multiple assaults, incidents possibly connected to response from Israel-Hamas war
Tensions have risen in New York City amid the Israel-Hamas war, and the NYPD has cited multiple incidents that may be connected to those increased tensions.
Police say that on 86th Street at around 11:30 p.m. on Wednesday, several people in a car drove around while holding an Israeli flag and shouting anti-Palestinian remarks. Officials say they exited the car and assaulted an 18-year-old and harassed two others and that the incident is being investigated by the NYPD’s Hate Crime Task Force.
The Anti-Defamation League of New York and New Jersey is investigating a separate incident that took place on Wednesday at Columbia University where an Israeli student was allegedly attacked.
“ADL is an organization that fights against hate, not just hate against the Jewish community. We are very vocal against all forms of hate,” said Scott Richman, regional director of the ADL. “At the moment, there’s a bit of a surge in our office. We’ve had many more incidents this week than we’ve had in quite some time.”
Richman adds that the league is getting over 10 calls a day, with most of them relating to extremist rhetoric.
A third incident took place on Wednesday outside of a Brooklyn synagogue involving imitation firearms but was not deemed a hate crime by law enforcement. Another incident involving a man who was struck with a flag by another man took place, but at this time the NYPD has not stated what type of flag it was.
A former Hamas chief has called for protests on Friday, urging others to join him.
“At the moment, we don’t see credible threats against the Jewish community, but we have made it clear to the Jewish institutions that they should increase their security protocols,” said Richman.
The NYPD is directing all uniformed members to be prepared to deploy anywhere in New York City that is experiencing violence and unrest.