Dozens arrested after Times Square demonstrators clash over Israel; Jewish man ‘viciously beaten’

NEW YORK — More than two dozen people were arrested as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed in New York City’s Times Square and police were investigating the gang assault of a Jewish man as a hate crime, police said Friday.

“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.”

The melee on Thursday evening resulted in 26 arrests on charges including obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon, according to city police.

The department’s Hate Crime Task Force said it was investigating the assault on the Jewish man in Times Square. A video posted to social media purporting to show the attack shows a group of people striking and kicking what appears to be a person down on the street.

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Police did not provide further details and it was not immediately clear if the unidentified victim was involved in the demonstrations.

WABC-TV reported that the victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday condemned the attack and said the state police Hate Crimes Task Force would offer assistance.

“New York is the vibrant and dynamic home for people from around the world. This tapestry makes New York the extraordinary place that it is. Those of all faiths, backgrounds and ethnicities must be able to walk the streets safely and free from harassment and violence,” Cuomo said in a prepared release.

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