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Two men charged in anti-Semitic hate crime incident at Los Angeles restaurant

<i>Provided to CNN</i><br/>People waving Palestinian flags allegedly were involved in the altercation outside a Los Angeles restaurant.
Provided to CNN
People waving Palestinian flags allegedly were involved in the altercation outside a Los Angeles restaurant.

By Sarah Moon, CNN

Charges have been filed against two men who allegedly were involved in an anti-Semitic hate crime attack that injured five people at a Los Angeles restaurant in May, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

Xavier Pabon, 30, and Samer Jayylusi, 36, were each charged with two felony counts of assault by means of force likely to cause great bodily injury, the district attorney’s office said in a news release.

They are accused of attacking two men outside the restaurant because of their religion, according to the release.

“The criminal complaint also includes a hate crime allegation,” the release said.

On May 18, Pabon and Jayylusi were allegedly part of a caravan that drove past a sushi restaurant where the altercation with diners later occurred, the release said.

CNN is attempting to identify attorneys for Pabon and Jayylusi.

Witness reports said Jewish people dining at the restaurant were targeted by a group of pro-Palestinian men driving past in vehicles.

Video obtained by CNN showed a number of cars driving past the restaurant that appeared to match the description provided by police with passengers waving Palestinian flags and exchanging anti-Israel slogans and swear words with people outside the restaurant.

A woman who said she was dining at the restaurant told CNN that the people in the cars began throwing bottles at them and yelled anti-Semitic slurs, including the words “dirty Jew.”

At least some of the pro-Palestinian men got out of their vehicles and began attacking people, witnesses said.

The altercation came amid days of violence between Israel and Hamas militants in Gaza.

“We watched from the window as the guys sitting at the table next to us got beat up while they (the aggressors) were asking ‘who’s Jewish’ and screaming ‘dirty Jew’ and ‘Israel kills children’ and ‘death to Israel,'” the woman said.

“A hate crime is a crime against all of us,” Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. “My office is committed to doing all we can to make Los Angeles County a place where our diversity is embraced and protected.”

Jayylusi was expected to be arraigned Tuesday. Pabon’s arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, prosecutors said.

The case is still under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department.

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