A self-described Palestinian migrant was charged with assault and robbery as a hate crime for allegedly ripping a Long Island man’s Israeli flag from his porch and then beating him up in front of his neighbors.
Bechir Lehbeib, 26, allegedly stole the flag — which declared “In This Home We Stand with Israel — from Aleksandr Binyaminov’s porch, cops said.
“When I grabbed the flag away from him, he was saying ‘I’m from Palestine, you Jews are killing Palestinians,’” Binyaminov recalled for NBC News New York.
Lehbeib walked away from Binyaminov and made an obscene gesture on video. The accused had walked several houses away when Binyaminov caught up to him on his child’s bicycle.
On video (watch below), Binyaminov challenges Lehbeib who punches him in the head. The two then begin to fight.
“He punched me in the face gave me black and blue put me in a choke hold and he headbutted me, that’s how I got a black eye,” Binyaminov explained.
The flag was put up after Oct. 7, in honor of a relative of Binyaminov’s wife who he said died when Hamas terrorists attacked Israel.
“The subject continued to swing wildly and struggle with the victim and threw the victim to the ground,” said Nassau County Deputy Police Commissioner Kevin Smith.
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman addressed the incident by saying, “This insanity has to stop.”
At a news conference, the county executive and Republican elected officials blasted border policies for the incident.
“Living in America, I never thought this would happen to me. As a Jew, we live here happily. Feels a little bit disgusting that this happened to us, these hate crimes should be stopped,” said Binyaminov.
Lehbeig was ordered held on $50,000 bail and the judge agreed with prosecutors that his passport be seized.
The New York Post reports Lehbeib entered the U.S. from Mexico in November. Officials said they aren’t sure of his country of origin, but said they believe he migrated from somewhere in North Africa.
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