Police in Britain are investigating an attack on a rabbi Sunday that left him needing hospital treatment.
Officers went to the location in Chigwell, just outside London, on Sunday afternoon following reports of a religiously aggravated assault, Essex Police said in a statement Monday.
“It is believed that two teenagers stepped out in front of the victim’s vehicle whilst he was driving, they shouted at him and spoke in a derogatory way about his religion before going on to damage his car,” the police department said.
“When he got out of his car to confront them, he was attacked with an unknown object causing him to require hospital treatment,” it added.
The victim’s phone was stolen during the attack by two boys, thought to be aged 15-18, who left the scene on foot, police added.
“We know that this incident may be concerning for those in the local area, and we are working quickly to identify those responsible and to liaise with community leaders for any further support for those impacted,” police said.
The victim has been identified in local media as Rabbi Rafi Goodwin, assistant rabbi at Chigwell and Hainault Synagogue.
CNN has contacted the synagogue for comment.
“Wishing Rabbi Goodwin a full and speedy recovery,” the Board of Deputies of British Jews, a Jewish community organization, tweeted. “There can be no excuse for this.”
On Sunday, London’s Metropolitan Police arrested four people after a convoy of cars bearing Palestinian flags drove through an area of North London with a large Jewish community, broadcasting anti-Semitic messages from a megaphone.
The incident followed pro-Palestinian demonstrations in central London on Saturday as Israel continues to launch strikes on Gaza in retaliation for rocket attacks by Hamas.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned anti-Semitism on Twitter.
“There is no place for antisemitism in our society,” Johnson tweeted Sunday, referring to the North London incident. “Ahead of Shavuot, I stand with Britain’s Jews who should not have to endure the type of shameful racism we have seen today.”
In Germany on Friday, a spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke out against anti-Semitism, after Israeli flags were set on fire in front of synagogues in the cities of Bonn and Münster and Jewish establishments were pelted with stones.
“Those who demonstrate in front of synagogues, (…) damage Jewish symbols, make it obvious that it is not about criticizing a state and its politics but rather about aggression and hate toward a religion and its followers,” Steffen Seibert said at a press conference in Berlin. “Against that we stand with the entire power of our constitutional democracy.”
CNN’s Martin Goillandeau, Lindsay Isaac, Claudia Otto, Colin Ivory Meyer and Arnaud Siad contributed to this report.