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Police arrest ‘primary suspect’ in attack on Jewish diners in LA, will seek hate crime charges

Police arrest ‘primary suspect’ in attack on Jewish diners in LA, will seek hate crime charges
Police in Los Angeles have arrested one of the pro-Palestinian activists that attacked a group of diners, while allegedly using anti-Semitic slurs. The man has been charged with assault and could face hate crime charges.

The man, who the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) described as “one of the primary suspects in the assault and beating of several men” outside a restaurant in the Mid-City area of Los Angeles on Tuesday, was taken into custody on Saturday thanks to tips provided by the public, the LAPD said.

The suspect, who was not identified, did not resist arrest and is currently facing charges of assault with a deadly weapon. More charges could be pending. Police say the suspect could also face hate crime charges and asked that his bail be increased “due to crime being motivated by hatred.”

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The incident, which unfolded on Tuesday, involved an altercation between a group of pro-Palestinian protesters and one of the diners outside a sushi restaurant. Videos of the showdown show a man picking up a metal post and brandishing it at the group of people as they approach, before he is overpowered and beaten to the ground.

The alleged victim, identified only as M, told local media that he was out dining with four Jewish friends when a group of men from passing cars yelled anti-Semitic and pro-Palestinian slogans at them. M allegedly shouted back, which ultimately led to the attack on him. M said that he was kicked on the head, pepper-sprayed, and needed to be taken to the hospital. Another witness told CBSLA that before the brawl erupted, glass bottles were thrown at the tables from the cars. She said that some pro-Palestinian protesters then left their vehicles and started running towards the tables, asking the diners if they were Jewish. The fighting reportedly broke out after several of the people said that they were.

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The attack was denounced by the Anti-Defamation League, which offered a $5,000 reward for information about the suspects, and drew condemnation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Police say they are looking for other suspects in the case.

Tensions between pro-Israel and pro-Palestine Americans surged amid the 11-day conflict between Tel Aviv and Hamas-controlled Gaza, which was put on hold after a ceasefire mediated by Egypt came into effect on Friday. Cross-border attacks, in which the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed multiple targets in Gaza in response to rocket launches, led to heavy casualties in the Palestinian enclave, which reported 248 deaths, including 66 children and 39 women. Nearly 2,000 people have been injured as a result of the Israeli strikes, according to local health officials. Twelve people were killed, including two children, in Israel during the same period.

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