Israeli students attacked with firebomb in Manhattan

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — A firebomb was thrown at two Israeli yeshiva students in Midtown Manhattan in an incident being investigated as a hate crime.

The attack, which occurred on Friday, was reported in New York media on Sunday morning.

The students, both 19, are studying at a Brooklyn yeshiva for one year, and often visit Jewish-owned businesses in the area to call on people to perform mitzvahs, the New York Post reported, citing community leaders.

The students, one of whom only speaks Hebrew, were not injured.


“A firebomb is not the kind of thing you have sitting in your car or in your bag unless you have someone to throw it at,” Barry Sugar, director of the Jewish Leadership Council, said in a statement emailed to JTA. “It is conceivable that the attacker sees these boys every Friday and prepared this bomb to ambush them.”

Detectives from the New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force interviewed the students in the wake of the attack, after an officer at the scene did not take a formal report, saying, according to the New York Daily News, that “nothing happened.”

In a second possible hate crime incident, rocks or other heavy objects were thrown at an Orthodox Jewish woman, 22, as she pushed her baby in a stroller past the Bangladesh Muslim Center in Brooklyn, the Post reported citing police.

The NYPD’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a possible bias incident.

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