Israeli students attacked with firebomb in NYC

Site of the firebomb attack on two Israeli Yeshiva students in Midtown Manhattan, Oct. 9th 2015

The site of the firebomb attack on two Israeli yeshiva students in Manhattan, Oct. 9, 2015. (Courtesy of Jewish Leadership Council)

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

Neither of the students, both 19, were injured in the Midtown Manhattan attack, which occurred Friday and was reported in the New York media on Sunday morning.

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. The officer said “nothing happened,” according to the New York Daily News.

“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.”

The students, one of whom only speaks Hebrew, are studying at a Brooklyn yeshiva for one year. They often visit Jewish-owned businesses in the area to call on people to perform mitzvahs, the New York Post reported, citing community leaders.

In a second possible hate crime incident, 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 Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the incident as a possible bias incident.

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