A cyclist carrying an Israeli flag has been caught in a scuffle with a woman and two men in the heart of Melbourne as tensions rise over the Middle East conflict.
Cyclist Ronen Martin-Cohen said he was accosted by a woman who tried to grab his Israeli flag before two other men attacked him at 8 p.m. on Sunday evening in the city’s cafe and restaurant thoroughfare. southeast of Melbourne, at Chapel St.
Footage of the incident shows a woman chasing Mr Martin-Cohen and grabbing the flag from the back of his bike, leading the two men to struggle for control of the bike.
Two men then run towards Mr Martin-Cohen as he kicks one of them.
Video shows woman chasing Ronen Martin-Cohen and trying to grab Israeli flag from his bike
The fight continued in the middle of the road until passers-by mobilized to disperse it, leaving Mr. Martin-Cohen curled up on the asphalt.
“It was first a lady who approached me,” Mr Martin-Cohen told Nine News.
“I started debating, ‘Why do you support Israel?’ “.
“I was pushed to the ground, then they kicked me mainly in the chest and back. »
Police told Melbourne radio station 3AW on Monday they were investigating the incident and none of those involved required medical attention.
“There is no place in our community for hateful or discriminatory behavior and Victoria Police will not tolerate anti-Semitic or Islamophobic incidents,” the police spokesperson said.
“We take all reports of threats and/or violence seriously, and community members are strongly encouraged to report any incidents of concern.”
It was the latest in a series of clashes in the Victorian capital between pro-Palestinian and Israeli supporters, sparked by bloody fighting in Gaza between Israeli forces and Hamas.
Police are also investigating a shocking incident filmed on Saturday evening, in which a Toyota HiLux vehicle appears to swerve onto a sidewalk, narrowly missing Israeli supporters.
Footage of the incident in Caulfield, east of Melbourne, was shared by Jewish lawyer Menachem Vorchheimer on Monday.
Mr Martin-Cohen attempts to defend himself against a man who aggressively ran towards him in the middle of Chapel St in Melbourne on Sunday evening.
The short clip shows a man and a woman jumping off the side of the road as the vehicle drives towards them and mounts the sidewalk where a group of protesters were waving Israeli flags on Friday.
A Victoria Police spokesperson confirmed to Daily Mail Australia they received information about the incident on Saturday.
“Officers received reports that a HiLux ute was half-mounted on a curb on Hawthorn Road, Caulfield and drove at a man and woman on November 10, at around 7.05pm,” he said.
“A 46-year-old Armadale man and a 55-year-old St Kilda East woman, who were on the pavement at the time, moved out of the way of the HiLux to avoid being struck before the vehicle drove off.
“Both men were not injured during the incident.
“Anyone who witnessed the incident and has CCTV or dashcam footage is asked to contact Crime Stoppers.”
Following horrific scuffles involving Palestinian protesters and police outside a Caulfield synagogue leading a service on Friday evening, calls have been made by the government and advocates for calm and peace.
Shocking footage captured the moment a Toyota HiLux vehicle apparently swerved onto a sidewalk, narrowly missing Israel supporters in Melbourne
Police announced they would step up patrols in the city’s eastern suburbs, where there is a large Jewish community.
“We don’t want to see what happened on Friday night again,” said Ben Carroll, Victoria’s deputy premier.
Opposition leader John Pesutto said the government had been caught “off guard” by the escalation of the situation.
“I am not satisfied with what the government is doing,” he said.
Islamic Council of Victoria spokesperson Adel Salman told Nine News Palestinian protesters had faced abuse accusing them of “supporting terrorism”.
“It creates a really dangerous environment for many Muslims,” he said.
Anti-Defamation Commission Chairman Dvir Abramovich also called for calm, but warned that anti-Semitic incidents were on the rise.
“Let’s make sure that Melbourne, which is a pluralistic and tolerant city, is not torn apart by these tensions,” he said.