Cops investigate damage to Israeli’s restaurant

The glass wall of a restaurant owned by an Israeli at La Salle Avenue in Bacolod City broke after unidentified suspects threw a stone with the words “Free Palistine (sic)” written on it on Sunday, January 21.

The police debunked reports that it was a hate crime, saying they are looking at the possibility that it was done by persons who wanted to steal or was triggered by a business conflict.

Capt. Peter John Ramos, Bacolod City Police Station 4 commander, told DIGICAST NEGROS that they are investigating the incident and looking at footage of CCTV cameras located in the area.

Ramos said thieves could have thrown the stone into the restaurant to determine if there was a person inside.

He also said that most of the customers in the restaurant were Filipinos and Indian nationals, and if it was a hate crime the spelling of “Palestine” would have been correct.

Ramos assured that an investigation is underway and culprits could face charges of malicious mischief.

Shmuel Haimovitch, the owner of the restaurant, said that there is now politics in this place and he is only working to make a living.

He is angry about what happened and it should be taken seriously, Haimovitch said.

“I saw these markings on the stone and this is not a joke anymore,” he said, adding “I feel angry… I would understand people protesting but there should be no violence”.

He said that as a foreigner in the Philippines, he was not doing anything like what the Israelis are allegedly doing in Palestine.

Haimovitch also hoped that incidents like this are stopped before they go too far.*

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