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Israeli soccer team targeted in 'anti-Semitic' Polish attack


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WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Masked soccer hooligans attacked staff members traveling with an Israeli soccer team following a friendly match in Poland, in what the Israeli Embassy said Thursday was an "anti-Semitic incident."

Two men were slightly injured in the attack, which occurred Wednesday evening in Suchocin, a town near Warsaw, following a friendly match between Israeli club Hapoel Petah Tikva and local Polish club MKS Ciechanow.

The Israeli club said the assault occurred at a stadium after the game finished, when most of the players had returned to their hotel.

It said a number of fans of Legia Warszawa, a Warsaw club, "emerged from the adjacent forest with their faces covered (and) came on the field and began assaulting a number of staff that had stayed behind."

The Israeli Embassy in Warsaw said it was "shocked and sadden by the news of another anti-Semitic incident."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, called on UEFA, European soccer's ruling body, to take disciplinary measures against Legia Warszawa "so that they adopt appropriate measures against those identified as their delinquent fans for racist behavior."

Poland was home to the largest Jewish community in Europe before the Holocaust. Although the Jewish population today is very small, anti-Semitic incidents occur from time to time.

In one high-profile incident, a Polish nationalist burned the effigy of an Orthodox Jew during an anti-migrant rally in Wroclaw in 2015.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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