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Society

Arrests in Times Square Melee Over Israel; Jewish Man Beaten

NEW YORK — More than two dozen people were arrested as pro-Israel and pro-Palestinian demonstrators clashed in New York City's Times Square and police were investigating the gang assault of a Jewish man as a hate crime, police said Friday.

The melee on Thursday evening resulted in 26 arrests on charges including obstructing governmental administration, resisting arrest, unlawful assembly, disorderly conduct and criminal possession of a weapon, according to city police.

Also, the department's Hate Crime Task Force said it was investigating the assault of a Jewish man in Times Square on Thursday evening. A video posted to social media purporting to show the attack shows a group of people striking and kicking what appears to be a person down on the street.

Police did not provide further details and it was not immediately clear if the unidentified victim was involved in the demonstrations.

WABC-TV reported  that the victim was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries and released.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Friday condemned the attack and said the state police Hate Crimes Task Force would offer assistance.

"New York is the vibrant and dynamic home for people from around the world. This tapestry makes New York the extraordinary place that it is. Those of all faiths, backgrounds and ethnicities must be able to walk the streets safely and free from harassment and violence," Cuomo said in a prepared release.

During one part of the demonstrations, a large firework detonated on the sidewalk as groups of shouting pro-Palestinian protesters drove through Manhattan's Diamond District, which is closely associated with the city's Jewish community.

Video posted on social media showed people scrambling to get clear of the pyrotechnic as it detonated, and then shoving breaking out between bystanders and protesters shouting curses about Zionism.

Israel and Hamas agreed to a cease-fire Thursday in an 11-day war that caused widespread destruction in the Gaza Strip and left more than 200 people dead.

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