LOS ANGELES, CA – Members of a Pro-Palestinian mob are being sought by the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) in connection with a potential hate crime after they allegedly singled-out and attacked a group of Jewish diners at an outdoor restaurant on Tuesday evening, according to reports.
The incident took place at 10 p.m. at a sushi restaurant in the 300 block of North La Cienega Boulevard in the Beverly Grove area, according to the LAPD. A caravan of flag-waving pro-Palestinian demonstrators were driving down the street when they stopped, jumped out of their vehicles, and proceeded to attack several Jewish patrons at the establishment, all while reportedly yelling “death to Jews” and “free Palestine.”
With the recent escalation in violence in the Middle East between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip causing tension world-wide, it is believed by authorities that this incident was driven by anti-Semitic sentiment on the part of the pro-Palestinian demonstrators.
Witnesses noted that the attackers, who were dressed in black, started asking the diners “who’s Jewish?” before throwing bottles, punching, kicking, and pepper spraying several people who replied that they were. Smartphone footage that captured the incident shows a man being struck by the attackers while on the sidewalk before one of the victims picked up a metal stand and swings it in self-defense.
The staff at the restaurant quickly rushed the diners inside to safety and called law enforcement. Officials say that at least five people were either punched or cut by broken glass, but no serious injuries were reported.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti stated on Twitter Wednesday that the LAPD is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
“We as a city condemn last night’s organized, anti-Semitic attack,” he said. “Jewish Angelenos, like all residents, should always feel safe in our city. [The LAPD] is investigating this assault as a hate crime, and we will respond with the full force of the law.”