Jewish man on NY subway
Jewish man on NY subwayFlash 90

An Orthodox Jewish man was assaulted at a Brooklyn subway station Monday afternoon in an apparent targeted anti-Semitic attack, the New York Post reported. 

Authorities made news of the physical attack - which also included assailants shouting anti-Semitic insults at the victim - public on Tuesday.

Haim Ovanounou, 53, was standing on the platform of the Marcy Avenue J Train station in Williamsburg at around 4 p.m. when one of the assailants came up behind him to pick his pocket. 

When Ovanounou turned around to ask the man what he was doing, the man called him a "dirty bloody Jew" and spat in his face.

The assailant then grabbed Ovanounou's umbrella, hit him hard in the head with it, and then ran off down the platform. 

In an attempt to chase after his attacker, Ovanounou was almost immediately pounced on by two other accomplices. They knocked him down to the ground and began kicking him repeatedly, while shouting slurs like "(expletive) dirty Jew."

Another man standing on the platform tried to rush to Ovanounou's aid, but he was also beaten up by the assailants. The suspects then jumped on a Manhattan-bound train and disappeared. 

Both victims suffered minor injuries from the attack. Ovanounou has been identified as a tourist from Israel, although police said he provided a Brooklyn address when reporting the incident.

The New York Police Department's (NYPD) Hate Crime Task Force is investigating the incident, and trying to locate the three assailants, who were still at large Tuesday. 

The New York attack came just hours before the Jerusalem synagogue attack that occurred on Tuesday morning in Israel - an incident that has left Jews in the United States, and particularly in New York, rattled and on edge, particularly as three of the five dead held American citizenship.

Synagogues as well as other Jewish centers and key locations in the New York area have stepped up their security in coordination with the NYPD. 

Additionally, a number of protestors gathered Tuesday afternoon, despite the cold, outside of the Palestinian mission to the United Nations in New York. Many waving Israeli flags joined in prayer and denounced the attacks.