(JTA) — Suspected hate crimes against Jews and Muslims soared in New York City amid the Gaza conflict.
The increase in the hate crimes began in early July, when news reports of the conflict between Israel and Hamas became front-page news in the United States, according to Michael Osgood, deputy chief of the New York Police Department, The Associated Press reported.
Prior to the conflict, reports of hate crimes against Jews and Muslims had been down in 2014, The Associated Press reported.
The NYPD reported that hate crimes against Jews jumped to 18 per month from eight. Also, 14 of the 17 reported attacks against Muslims this year came after the start of Gaza war.
Osgood said the attacks were random and impulsive, and not committed by organized gangs.
In 2014, there have been 89 hate crime attacks against Jews, up from 64 the previous year. Seven attacks were reported against Muslims all of last year.
According to the NYPD, hate crimes in general are up 17 percent in 2014 over last year.