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Montreal Police Searching for Two Assailants after Jewish Man Assaulted

The Montreal police hate crimes unit is investigating after two young men were caught on video trying to grab an Israeli flag from a man and hitting him with a stick, Thursday in Westmount.

Police received a 911 call at around 1:15 p.m. about a robbery at the corner of Ste-Catherine Street West and Wood Avenue.

A video shot by a witness from a nearby office building shows two younger men trying to wrestle a rolled-up flag away from the victim, who was on his way back from an event celebrating Israel’s independence.

When the two eventually let go of the flag, one of the attackers is seen picking up a stick from the ground and striking the victim in the upper body. He then repeatedly strikes a bystander who intervened, before the two assailants run away up Wood Avenue.

The watchdog organization that monitors Jew hatred, StopAntisemitism, tweeted about the attack adding the victim might be a Holocaust survivor.

Police have reviewed the video and have spoken with witnesses but have not yet identified the assailants, who fled before officers arrived. Investigators are seeking two men in their 20s for robbery and armed assault.

“The investigation is ongoing and it has been transferred to the hate crime unit because it seems that the crime has been motivated by hate,” said Mariane Allaire Morin, spokesperson for the Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM).

The Federation CJA and the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) put out a joint statement condemning the attack. The statement said “antisemitic acts and acts of aggression, intimidation, and hatred are not acceptable” and that Jewish Montrealers and supporters of Israel “must be free to celebrate in peace and safety.”

A spokesperson for Dawson College, which is located in the same vicinity of the site of the attack, said the college was aware of the incident and said “Dawson is reviewing the video to ascertain if any Dawson students were involved.”

Police did not have any information to suggest that the assailants were students at the college.

Source:https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/assault-jewish-man-westmount-montreal-1.6444574