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Man shouting 'Hitler was a good man' attacks Jewish girls in Hackney with glass bottle

Teenagers 'badly shaken' after man praises Holocaust in 'unprovoked anti-Semitic attack'

Chris Baynes
Tuesday 29 August 2017 15:44 BST
(The girls were attacked in Heron Drive, Hackney)

Police have launched a hate crime investigation after a man threw a glass bottle at two Jewish girls while praising Hitler and the Holocaust.

The attacker shouted "Hitler is a good man" and said it was "good he killed the Jews" after approaching the teenagers, aged 15 and 16, outside a house in Hackney, north-east London.

The bottle "narrowly missed" one of the girls before they ran inside to escape, the Metropolitan Police said.

The teenagers were unhurt but "badly shaken", a spokeswoman added.

Other Jewish children as young as eight were also playing nearby when the attack took place in Heron Drive at 6.50pm on Sunday.

"This was a terrifying experience for the young victims who were targeted in this unprovoked anti-Semitic attack," said Chaim Hochhauser, a supervisor for north-east London's Shomrim, a Jewish neighbourhood watch group.

He added: "There have been many anti-Semitic incidents in this area recently, and it just seems to be getting worse."

There were 47 reported anti-Semitic hate crimes in Hackney, home to Europe's largest Orthodox Jewish community, in the first six months of this year.

The figure was the highest in the last five years and more than seven times the number reported in the first half of 2013, according to data compiled by the Community Security Trust.

Last month the charity warned of an "unprecedented" rise in reports of anti-Semitic attacks, abuse and harassment, with a record high 767 incidents across the UK between January and June this year.

Police appealed for witnesses to Sunday's attack.

They described the suspect as a slim, light-skinned man in his early 20s, who wore a black T-shirt, black trousers and a black cross-body bag.

A Met spokeswoman said: "At approximately 7pm on Sunday, August 27, a man approached the victims - aged 16 and 15 - on Heron Drive, N4, and began shouting anti-Semitic abuse at them before throwing a glass bottle that narrowly missed one of the teenagers.

"The incident has left the victims badly shaken.

"Officers would like to hear from anyone who might have witnessed this incident."

Anyone with information can call police on 111, tweet @MetCC, or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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