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Oxford Street: Police hunt three men after Jewish people spat at on bus

The Metropolitan Police is trying to identify three men who spat at a group of Jewish people celebrating Hanukkah in central London.

Images of the men have been released by the Met following the incident on Oxford Street on Wednesday evening.

According to reports, approximately 40 young Jewish people were on the bus when a group of men swore, made obscene gestures, spat and threw a shopping basket at them.

It comes after footage was shared on social media, which captured the attack from inside the bus. At one point, a man can be seen banging his shoe against the side of the vehicle.

In the video, people on board the bus can be heard saying “we are Jewish” and “we need to go”.

Shneor Glitsenstein, director of the Chabad Israeli Centre Golders Green, who was on the bus with the young people, said earlier they had been attacked “for being Jewish.”

“Let me be clear: on Monday evening we were attacked on the streets of London for being Jewish and celebrating Hanukkah,” he said.

“While our bus contained no references to Israel, we were clearly a Jewish group.

“The young men who surrounded us were not engaged in political protest; this was a bigoted antisemitic attack in the heart of London, seen by dozens of others, who stood by silently.”

On Thursday evening, the Metropolitan Police released images of three men who have been linked to the incident, which is being treated as a hate crime.

Detective Inspector Kevin Eade of the Met’s Central West Command said: “This was a deeply upsetting incident for a community group who were celebrating the Jewish festival, Hanukkah.

“There is no place in our city for hate crime.

“Everyone should be able to enjoy their lives without harassment and I urge anyone who can name the individuals pictured to contact police without delay.”

The Metropolitan Police are also trying to identify a woman aged 25-30 with dark skin and long black hair who was present shortly before the incident occurred.

A woman who was on the open-top bus and filmed the incident said the passengers had stopped at Oxford Street to get off and dance when the men started abusing them.

Joanne Orezi, from Golders Green, told the PA news agency: “They were just starting to swear, pointing fingers, taking off their shoes and spitting, kind of vandalising the bus as well.

“They ripped off a window of the bus.

“It was right outside a shop, so they took a shopping basket, they threw it on to somebody in the bus.

“Obviously the roof was open so it hit somebody.”

Ms Orezi said the attack lasted around 30 minutes, but she only started filming halfway through as she was “a bit in shock”.

When the bus started driving off, one of the men ran alongside it and banged his shoe against it.

Ms Orezi, 31, said: “My legs was shaking with anger, truthfully, because we weren’t disturbing anyone, just literally dancing.

“And you know, I’m not as young as the other people.

“I mean, they were all teenagers, they were more scared.

“Some of them were angry.

“Some of them were in shock, scared, shaking.

“The younger ones, they weren’t even talking, they just went to the top of the bus.”