'He hit me in the head with the statue'

Israeli assaulted by souvenir seller in Pisa who yelled ‘Jews are murderers’

Elad Forgash, who will require surgery for injuries to face, says Bangladeshi stall owner in Italian city inquired about his nationality and then attacked him

The leaning Tower of Pisa, in Tuscany, central Italy, on August 3, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)
The leaning Tower of Pisa, in Tuscany, central Italy, on August 3, 2015. (Hadas Parush/Flash90)

An Israeli man was assaulted and battered in the face by a souvenir seller in the Italian city of Pisa this week, with the antisemitic attack leaving the tourist requiring surgery to his face.

Elad Forgash was visiting the city, famous for its leaning tower, when the incident happened on Sunday.

He was walking through a local market and found a model of the tower that he wanted to buy as a souvenir, he told the Ynet website.

As he spoke with the seller, who was wrapping the item, the man explained he was an immigrant from Bangladesh, and then asked Forgash where he was from.

When he revealed he was from Israel, the seller began to curse and insult him, Forgash said.

“He said to me he hates Israel and the Jews because they are murderers,” Forgash said.

After a short exchange of words, the Israeli decided he would not buy the tower and began to leave.

“He hit me in the head with the statue,” Forgash said.

The stall owner then ran away.

Police arrived and Forgash, who suffered a broken eye socket and a broken nose, was taken in an ambulance to the hospital. His injuries will require surgery when he returns to Israel, according to the report.

Local police are investigating the incident.

The European Jewish Congress said in a statement that they “strongly condemn the antisemitic assault.”

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