London woman carrying Palestinian flag injured in attack
Suspect verbally, physically assaults victim outside Victoria Station following massive pro-Palestine rally
A young British woman carrying a Palestinian flag was the victim of a physical and verbal assault Saturday in central London amid a reported spike in hate crimes.
Witnesses told Anadolu that an unidentified man outside the Victoria underground station attacked the woman and injured her wrist after a massive pro-Palestinian rally.
They said the man tried to kick the flag and the woman was left shaking after the incident.
Several onlookers came to the victim's aid and tried to soothe her before reporting the incident to Victoria Station staff.
Two police officers arrived at the scene 10 minutes later and noted details about the incident and the perpetrator.
The woman showed the officers her hand which was injured during the incident, which came one day after Metropolitan Police reported a "significant increase" in hate crimes across London amid the current conflict in the Gaza Strip.
"Between 1 October and 18 October, we saw 218 antisemitic offences compared to 15 in the same period last year. Similarly, we saw an increase in Islamophobic offences from 42 to 101," according to a statement that noted a 1,353% and 140% increase in the two figures, respectively.
The conflict in Gaza began when Palestinian resistance group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood -- a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air, in which more than 1,400 people were killed.
Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip, along with stepping up raids and arrests in the occupied West Bank.
In addition to launching a sweeping bombardment campaign ahead of an expected ground invasion, Israel ordered a "full siege" of Gaza that has led to electricity supplies being severed as water, food, fuel and medical supplies run out.
At least 4,385 Palestinians, including 1,756 children, have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza. The figure stands at more than 1,400 in Israel.
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