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Police investigate hate crime after ‘Hitler moustache’ drawn on poster of kidnapped children

Photographs of at least four Israelis abducted by Hamas defaced in London, prompting hate-crime probe

Jane Dalton
Wednesday 25 October 2023 16:32 BST
Poster bearing image of two infants was among those defaced in Camden
Poster bearing image of two infants was among those defaced in Camden (AP)

Police are investigating a hate crime after Hitler-style moustaches were drawn on posters in London of children abducted by Hamas in Israel.

The notice of the siblings, put up in Camden, northwest London, features a photograph of two happy, smiling youngsters, identified as Emma and Yuli Cunio, both three years old.

The pair were said to have been kidnapped from their home, along with an estimated 220 other people, in Hamas’ attack on Israel on 7 October, and taken to Gaza.

But Hitler moustaches and a monobrow have been drawn over the children’s faces.

Another poster, of missing Silvia Ochayon, 58, was similarly defaced – and horns were added.

Similarly, horns and a monobrow were added to a third photograph on a poster featuring 17-year-old Israeli Tomer Eliaz Arava.

The posters ask passers-by to share a photograph of the images in an effort to free the children and get them home alive.

Police say they are treating the defacing of the posters as a hate crime.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak has vowed that people who glorify Hamas terrorists will be met with the full force of the law. Hamas is banned in the UK.

“This is what the Jewish community is facing. Not in 1936. In 2023. Here. In London,” wrote journalist Dan Hodges as he posted a photo on social media of the Cunio children’s poster, branding the defacements “evil”.

The Metropolitan Police have recorded a “massive increase” in antisemitic hate crimes since the eruption of violence between Israel and Hamas militants.

In the first two weeks of October, the force recorded 105 incidents of antisemitism – up from just 14 incidents during the same period last year.

Cases included intimidation outside synagogues and German military music being played loudly, to Jewish people being confronted by protesters “laughing about the numbers of deaths”.

The force said officers in Camden were investigating the defacing of the photographs.

A spokesperson said: “Police have been made aware of a number of photos that have been posted on social media today of posters which have been defaced in the Finchley Road area.

“We fully understand the distress this will cause to local communities. Police are investigating the incident and are treating it as a hate crime.

“Local officers have immediately responded and will be focused on the area to carry out reassurance patrols.”

Police asked for anyone with information to ring 101 quoting CAD2459/25OCT23.

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