Suspect arrested over antisemitic assault in Leicester Square

One of the victims had said she was ‘afraid she was going to die’


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

A man suspected to have been involved in an assault on three Jewish members of the public has been arrested by the Metropolitan Police.

In the early hours of Sunday January 21, three Israelis were reportedly attacked by “seven to ten people” in Leicester Square on their way to a nightclub. According to the victims, the perpetrators overheard the group “speaking Hebrew” before they attacked.

On Thursday February 22, the police arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with the ongoing investigation into the incident.

One of the victims, Tehilla, told The Telegraph that she called the Met Police ten times, “afraid she was going to die”.

Tehilla said that she and her two friends were threatened by people “swearing in Arabic”.

“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.”

Tehilla said she had tried to intervene but “they started attacking me as well”.

“I hurt my leg, they punched me in the neck,” she said.

“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.’”

One of the victims described “30 people surrounding us and watching”.

It was reported that the police attended the scene 28 minutes after being called and were treating the incident as a hate crime. The attack was also reported to the CST.

Chief Superintendent Louise Puddefoot, in charge of policing in Westminster, said: “We are continuing to investigate an antisemitic hate crime that occurred in January and are working closely with the Community Security Trust to provide the victims with appropriate support whilst updating them on our investigation.

“Detectives have carried out an extensive review of CCTV footage from the area in order to try to identify those responsible, as well as speaking with local businesses to gather additional eye witness accounts.

“On Thursday, 22 February, we arrested a 19-year-old man in connection with the investigation.

“We’ve spoken with the victims to make them aware of this development.

“I would again like to stress that there is no place for hate crime in London, and we are determined to identify those responsible for this cowardly attack.”

Today, the Campaign Against Antisemitism tweeted: “One of the suspects involved in this alleged assault has now been arrested. We are continuing to offer support to the victims during this time. If you have any further information, please inform @MetPoliceUK.”

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