(NEW YORK) — A 23-year-old Jewish man was beaten by a group of people in New York City’s Times Square on Thursday evening, police said.
The victim was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and then released. The incident is now being investigated as a hate crime, according to the New York City Police Department.
Detectives are searching for multiple suspects in what police described as a “gang assault.” No arrests have been made so far, police said.
The incident occurred amid dueling demonstrations over the deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group ruling the Gaza Strip. Pro-Israel and pro-Palestine protesters both took to the streets of Midtown Manhattan on Thursday evening, as a mutual cease-fire went into effect. The two groups collided and fights broke, police said.
At least 26 people were arrested during the protests Thursday on various charges, including obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon, according to police.
A video taken by a bystander and later posted on social media purportedly shows the attack on the Jewish man. A man is seen lying in the middle of the street, blocking traffic, as a group of people, some holding protest signs, kick and beat him. It was unclear whether the man was participating in the protests.
The truce between Hamas and the Israeli military came after an 11-day battle of trading rockets and airstrikes that left hundreds of people dead — mostly Palestinians — and devastated the already impoverished communities in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
It was the worst outbreak of violence between the two sides since a 2014 war that lasted seven weeks, involved an Israeli ground invasion and killed more than 2,000 people, the vast majority Palestinians.
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