An attack on a group of men at a restaurant in the Beverly Grove area was being investigated Wednesday as a possible hate crime, authorities said.
Witnesses told CBSLA that a pro-Palestinian group attacked a group of Jewish men who were dining outside Sushi Fumi in the 300 block of North La Cienega Boulevard. The incident occurred shortly before 10 p.m. Tuesday, according the Los Angeles Police Department.
A spokesperson for the LAPD told City News Service that the incident was being investigated as a possible hate crime, but did not elaborate.
One minor injury was reported, police said. No one was arrested.
According to CBSLA, cell phone video showed a group of men get out of a car and start to attack the diners while yelling racial slurs.
One of the diners, who is not Jewish, told CBSLA that a caravan waving pro-Palestinian flags approached and then began throwing bottles at him and the group he was dining with. The man said he is a photographer and the group was meeting at the restaurant to plan a wedding.
The man said he was physically attacked when he tried to defend the group. He said the attackers used anti-Jewish profanity. He also said he was pepper sprayed during the attack and had to go to a hospital.
The attackers were described only as men wearing all black. The restaurant apparently was not damaged, police said.
Meanwhile, police are also investigating a security video recorded Monday night that appears to show an Orthodox Jewish man being chased by a caravan of people waving Palestinian flags near Rosewood and La Brea avenues, CBSLA reported. The man escaped and was not hurt.
The incidents occurred in the wake of an escalation of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At least 200 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s bombing of Gaza, while Hamas rocket attacks have killed at least 12 Israelis.
Earlier Tuesday, a large crowd of pro-Palestinian demonstrators gathered outside the Israeli consulate in West Los Angeles. The rally was organized by the Palestinian Youth Movement. Over the weekend, thousands of pro-Palestinian demonstrators rallied in Westwood calling for an end to the violence.
The incidents were drawing condemnation from outside the L.A. area.
“As Palestinian protesters attack Jews seated for dinner at a Los Angeles restaurant, and another Jewish individual on foot chased by two cars driven by Palestinian protestors, the scenes of violence that unfolded are undeniable evidence of the dangerous spike in antisemitism in the United States and abroad,” according to a statement provided by the Israeli-American Civic Action Network.
“We call upon our elected officials, law enforcement and community leaders to condemn these assaults and demand an end to coordinated acts of antisemitic intimidation, harassment, and violence perpetrated by these protestors,” the statement said.
The organization is described on its website as, “A movement of Israeli and American grassroots activists and leaders creating change for a better America, a more secure Israel, and a stronger U.S.-Israel alliance.”