BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – Ten Israeli tourists were wounded in an anti-Semitic attack at a hostel in a small Argentine village.
Three assailants burned, robbed and beat the tourists at the Onda Azul hostel in Lago Puelo, in southern Argentina, between 1 am and 4 am Monday, the Argentine media reported. Police in the Chubut province are investigating.
“It was a terrifying moment, several hours of fear,” hostel owner Sergio Polak told the local media. “They shouted, ‘Go, f***ing Jews, you f***ing Jews are robbing us’ in the Patagonia region.”
Monica Sasso, the area delegate for the National Institute Against Discrimination, or INADI, confirmed to reporters that the attack took several hours.
Polak also said the attackers threw stones and Molotov cocktails, and shot guns at the site, according to Argentinian Radio Continental.
He alleged that the assailants were neighborhood residents who live very close to the hostel, and that they are known to police, “but they are free and nobody has been arrested yet.”
The hostel, which shut down temporarily after the attack, usually houses guests from Israel and tries to attract them through a Hebrew-language Facebook page.
Israelis make up about 10 per cent of the lucrative tourist trade in southern Argentina’s Patagonia area. Most of the stores have signs in Hebrew to attract Israeli visitors.
One month ago, anti-Israel posters appeared in the Argentine tourist town of Bariloche, located in the foothills of the Andes, which is popular with Israeli backpackers. The posters, which read “Boycott Against Israeli Military Tourism,” were signed by the Palestine Solidarity Committee in Argentine Patagonia.