A young Jewish man has been charged with fighting in public and use of a weapon after allegedly confronting a group of teenagers driving around Sydney’s Jewish heartland while waving the Palestinian flag.
The incident occurred in Bondi last night, just hours after opposition leader Peter Dutton called out Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in parliament, accusing him of not doing enough to protect the Jewish community.
Police were called to the Ampol station on Old South Head Road in North Bondi around 10.20pm, following reports of the altercation.
The man, 19, had earlier been driving a silver Toyota Corolla hatchback along O’Brien Street at North Bondi when the four 17-year-olds passed by in a white Mercedes, holding up a Palestinian flag, as they travelled in the opposite direction.
The man then allegedly performed a U-Turn and followed the group onto Old South Head Road, where the two drivers came to a stop and began arguing.
During the alleged confrontation, the man’s driver’s side mirror was smashed by a rock and he drove away before pulling into a nearby service station.
The Mercedes arrived at the petrol station a short time later and both groups allegedly jumped out of their cars and began arguing.
Police patrolling the area arrived a short time later and broke up the fight, which did not result in any injuries.
Four youths are pictured being spoken to by police at the scene
Footage taken at the scene shows officers searching the Corolla and seizing several hockey sticks found inside the boot.
The man was arrested at a home in Bondi around 12pm on Thursday and taken to the local police station, where he was charged with affray and using an offensive weapon to commit an indictable offence.
He has been granted bail to appear at Waverley Local Court on 12 December.
The four teenagers have been dealt with in accordance with the Young Offenders Act.
Earlier on Thursday, the Australian Jewish Association had claimed the young Jewish man was sitting in his car when he was confronted by the four teens.
Photos posted online by the association showed damage to the boy’s car.
Video circulating online that was taken moments before the alleged fight shows a convoy of cars driving around Bondi waving Palestinian flags from their car.
The group attempts to turn at an intersection, before one of them cuts off an Uber delivery bike rider before driving away.
The Australian Jewish Association has shared photos of the car damaged during the alleged altercation
Pictured: Group messages that began circulating within the Jewish community shortly after the incident
A Palestinian flag was seen on the ground next to a white Mercedes while police officers searched the hatchback
Moments after the incident, members of the Jewish community began warning others to stay at home amid fears of being attacked.
‘S*** going down at the petrol station on old south right now,’ group chat messages circulating online read.
‘Palestinians with baseball bats… 20 + guys looking for Jews.
‘Stay home guys.’
AJA president Robert Gregory told Daily Mail Australia the Jewish man’s car mirror was smashed and that threats of violence were made before police arrived.
All four of them got out of the car and attempted to fight him. They threatened to ‘shank’ him. At this point police arrived.
‘Carloads of young Middle Eastern men driving from the other side of the city with Palestinian Arab flags looking to provoke violence is a worrying development.
‘We haven’t heard of any cases of carloads of Jews with Israeli flags driving around Lakemba Mosque. Thankfully police turned up when they did.’
Approximately two-thirds of Sydney’s Jewish community reside in the eastern suburbs, notably in Bondi. This area has witnessed several recent incidents prompting police intervention, related to conflicts over the Israel-Palestine issue.
Palestinian supporters were seen driving around Sydney’s eastern suburbs on Wednesday night
Police were called to a service station in North Bondi following an alleged brawl
Police remained at the scene for at least seven hours until 5am Thursday to ensure no further incidents took place.
A number of items, including a hockey stick and a tool were seized, which will undergo forensic examination.
NSW Police confirmed on Wednesday the footage taken prior to the alleged altercation was under investigation.
‘About 10pm yesterday, emergency services were called to Old South Head Road, Bondi, following reports a car and motorcycle had collided,’ a police spokesperson said.
‘The rider of the motorcycle – a 22-year-old man – was assessed at the scene by NSW Ambulance paramedics and did not require further treatment,’ the spokesperson said.
‘The driver of the car – a 21-year-old woman – was not injured.
‘Both the rider and the driver were subjected to roadside breath tests which returned negative results.
‘Officers from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command have commenced an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the incident.’
Police remained at the Ampol service station until 5am Thursday
Police (pictured) spent seven hours at the scene and seized a number of items from the scene
On Wednesday, Mr Dutton called on the prime minister to not depart Australia for the APEC summit in San Francisco until he had assured Jewish Australians would be protected in the community.
‘The prime minister should not leave this country until the national cabinet has been convened to provide assurances and support and comfort and safety to people of the Jewish community,’ he said.
The Prime Minister hit back, saying saying he had been consistent in his views in calling for unity.
‘The weaponisation or attempt to weaponise anti-Semitism in this chamber and make it a partisan issue is, frankly, beyond contempt,’ he said on Wednesday.
‘I make no apologies for standing up against anti-Semitism and I will do it unequivocally … I have a track record on this and I’m proud of it, but I also have a track record of standing up for the rights and for justice of Palestinian people.
‘I make no apologies for being a consistent supporter of a two-state solution, and I make no apologies for trying to bring communities together, not divide them.’
Earlier this month, two men from Western Sydney drove to Bondi Beach and attempted to destroy posters of Israelis who were taken hostage by Hamas terrorists, while being confronted by a larger aggrieved group.
NSW Police spoke to a 25-year-old man at a Granville home and a 40-year-old at a home in Bankstown, issuing both men with criminal infringement notices carrying a fine of $500.
In October, a man was banned from entering Sydney’s Jewish suburbs after allegedly verbally threatening four teenagers after they tried to display an Israeli flag on their car.
‘I swear if I f***ing see youse with that flag I’ll f***ing kill youse all,’ he allegedly says in the video.
‘I’m telling youse right now – all of youse,’ he added before retreating from the car.
Meanwhile, six federal electoral offices across the country were the target of pro-Palestinian protests involving bloodied replicas of Gazan corpses.
Those targeted included Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles and fellow Labor MPs Ged Kearney and Peter Khalil.