Police in London were Monday investigating the brutal attack on a pregnant Haredi woman in the Stamford Hill neighborhood as a possible anti-Semitic hate crime.
The 20-year-old woman, who is 27 weeks pregnant, was hospitalized with minor injuries after the brutal attack last Thursday evening, police said.
Security camera footage of the attack shows a man creeping up behind the woman as she walks in a deserted alleyway in the Stamford Hill area, which is home to a large ultra-Orthodox community.
The man then covers his victim's head a pillowcase, tries to strangle her and repeatedly punches her in the stomach before she manages to get away and he flees the scene.
The assault took place close to a normally busy street, but the assailant apparently waited for an opportune moment when there was no one around.
The police were appealing for any witnesses to the attack to come forward.
Video of the attack was released by Shomrim, a Jewish community defense group, which has asked the public for help in identifying the man. The group later deleted the video, which they said could prove distressing for viewers.
The group referred to the man as extremely dangerous and encouraged its volunteers to increase their patrols in the local area.
The London-based Jewish Chronicle quoted a source in the local community as saying that the woman was "ok but traumatized."
The source told the paper that there had been a recent increase in physical assaults of Jewish women in the area, but that the latest incident was the "most severe."
The Board of Deputies of British Jews also condemned the "vile attack," urging anyone who might recognize the assailant to contact the police.
"We hope that the perpetrator is swiftly caught and faces justice," the organization said on Twitter.