By Gus Saltonstall
An Upper West Side restaurant had its door shattered over the weekend, according to the owner and police.
The incident took place at Gazala’s at 447 Amsterdam Avenue, between West 81st and 82nd streets, an Israeli Druze restaurant that opened in 2018. Israeli Druze are a religious minority among the Arab citizens of Israel that make up less than 2 percent of the country’s population.
“I don’t know why it happened,” Gazala Halavi, the restaurant’s owner, told West Side Rag. “It could be somebody who just wanted to do it. It could be because of what happened in Israel. I have no idea why [except] we always have Israeli music, I’m Israeli, I don’t know.”
NYPD confirmed to the Rag that the incident was being investigated as criminal mischief since the door was shattered but no one broke in and nothing was stolen. Police did not respond when asked whether they were investigating it as a hate crime.
“It looked like somebody just wanted to do damage, the door wasn’t completely opened,” said Halavi, who grew up in Israel. She added that the UWS restaurant had been broken into about a year earlier, when some items were stolen.
Halavi moved to New York and the Upper West Side in 2001, before relocating to midtown for a couple of years, and then returning to the Upper West Side. “The Upper West Side is my second home,” she said.
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