Police investigating after Israelis attacked after speaking Hebrew in Leicester Square, ‘thought they would die’

The Met say they ‘wish’ they could have attended the incident sooner and are now investigating as a hate crime


'They're attacking me because I'm Jewish': three Israelis were beaten in London's Leicester Square after men heard them speaking Hebrew

A Jewish woman feared she was going to die after being attacked in Leicester Square when a group of men heard her and friends speaking Hebrew.

Tehilla, 28, and two 25-year-old men — all of whom are Israeli — were walking through central London to a nightclub in the early hours of Sunday morning when they were “physically attacked”. 

Police failed to respond until the assault had ended despite ten desperate calls for help, but now say they are investigating the incident as a hate crime.

Speaking to the Telegraph, Tehilla said she and her friends were walking to a nightclub when several men heard them speaking Hebrew and began threatening them.

The trio “walked away because they wanted to stay out of trouble,” however.

Later, at around 2am, they were threatened again by people who they claim swore at them in Arabic.

Tehilla said: “They heard us talking and said, ‘Are you Jewish?’

"I said ‘yes, I’m Jewish,’ and then they started chanting ‘Free Palestine’, and f--- Jews, all this kind of swearing at us.

“So we just tried not to get into trouble, to walk away, but they started following us and then all of a sudden, it started with like two or three guys, and all of a sudden, they called all their friends and 15 to 20 guys started attacking us physically.”

The 28-year-old’s male friends suffered blows to the head, while she was attacked while attempting to defend them.

Tehilla added: “I hurt my leg, they punched me in the neck.

“I tried to run away and I called the police so many times, at least ten times and I kept crying to them, ‘I’m a girl, there’s a group of guys attacking me and my friends because I’m Jewish, please can you come, I’m scared I’m going to die’.

“They don’t really care. They kept saying ‘I’m sorry, it takes some time, you are not the only one that called tonight’.”

Tehilla “never thought this would happen in London,” she told the Telegraph.

In a statement, the Met said they arrived at the scene 28 minutes after they were called but they “wish” they could have come to the Israelis aid sooner.

Detective Lucy O’Connor said: “We are investigating this incident as an antisemitic hate crime.

“I know how upsetting such inexcusable violence is for anyone who was injured or who witnessed the incident, and also for the wider community. I share their concerns...

“The police investigation will now focus on speaking with the woman and any other victims or witnesses, as well as following up all lines of inquiry including analysis of CCTV. I urge any witnesses to get in touch.

“I can assure Londoners, that tackling antisemitic crime is a priority for the Met. There is no place for hate in our city.”

The CST said: “This appalling incident was reported to CST’s 24/7 control centre last night and we are in contact with the victims. We will be raising it with police and will provide ongoing support to the victims.”

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