Staten Island Man Pleads Guilty to Hate Crime Charge for 3 Assaults on Jews

By Hamodia Staff

NEW YORK — A Staten Island man has pleaded guilty to a federal hate-crime charge after admitting to assaulting Jews on three separate occasions.

Saadah Masoud, 29, of Staten Island, was arrested in June after he followed, punched and dragged a counter-protester, who was draped in an Israeli flag, at a pro-Palestinian demonstration in April near the Israeli Consulate in Manhattan.

Masoud also admitted to assaulting a victim who was wearing a Star of David necklace in Manhattan on May 20, 2021, a period when Jews in New York and elsewhere around the country faced a slew of attacks from supporters of Palestinians as Israel was waging a war with Hamas.

Masoud also admitted to assaulting, along with a co-conspirator, a victim who was wearing a yarmulke while the victim was sitting outside the victim’s own home in Brooklyn, on June 2, 2021.

Masoud pled guilty Tuesday to one count of participating in a conspiracy to commit hate crime acts, motivated by the victims’ Jewish or Israeli identity.

“Saadah Masoud deliberately targeted three victims because of their religion and nation of origin,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “There is no place in this country for this offensive and hateful conduct.  This Office is dedicated to seeking justice for victims of hate crimes and will aggressively prosecute those who spread hate by criminal means.”

Masoud faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison when he is sentenced by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote on March 3, 2023.

Additional reporting by AP.

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