A cyclist has been attacked on a popular Melbourne street while carrying an Israeli flag, in another sign of tension in the city over the Middle Eastern conflict between Israel and Hamas.
In footage of the incident, cyclist Ronen Martin-Cohen can be seen being chased down Chapel St by a woman who tries to rip the flag from the bike, leading to the pair wrestling for control.
Two men are then seen accosting Mr Martin-Cohen as the bike lays on the ground, with footage showing him kick at the men, followed by Mr Martin-Cohen laying on the ground as witnesses step in to stop the fight.
Mr Martin-Cohen told 9 News he was physically assaulted by the men.
“It was first a lady that approached me,” he said.
“She started to argue, ‘Why do you support Israel?’
“I was pushed on the ground and then they (the men) kicked me mainly in the chest and back.”
The incident is just one of a number to occur in Melbourne and follows an ugly clash between pro-Palestinian supporters and Jewish Australians in Caulfield on Friday night.
A police spokesperson told 3AW on Monday that they were taking a look into the alleged attack on Mr Martin-Cohen and any hate-based acts would be viewed harshly.
“There is no place in our community for hate-based or discriminatory behaviour and Victoria Police will not tolerate anti-Semitic or Islamophobic incidents,” they said.
“We take all reports of threats and violence seriously, and members of the community are strongly encouraged to report any incidents of concern.”