Decapitated baby doll is left under Free Palestine flag in Ohio

A decapitated baby doll covered in fake blood left under a "Free Palestine" flag on an Ohio lawn has prompted a police investigation.

Detectives say that the incident occurred on Tuesday in Sylvania township, a suburb of Toledo.

A neighbour's camera captured footage of a man in dark clothing walking onto the property where the flag was displayed and placing something on the ground around 10.25am on Tuesday, according to the local police.

Approximately eight minutes before, a similarly dressed man can be seen mowing the lawn in the centre strip across from the house with the flag, according to the police report.

Police have not determined if the man mowing the grass is the same man who approached the flag.

Neighbours who were questioned and shown the video were unable to positively identify the individual shown in the footage.

Police are investigating who left a decapitated baby doll with fake blood on its chest beneath a Free Palestine flag in Sylvania township, Ohio (CAIR)
Police are investigating who left a decapitated baby doll with fake blood on its chest beneath a Free Palestine flag in Sylvania township, Ohio (CAIR)

The strange display comes at a time of heightened tensions around the world spurred by Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza.

The Israeli government began retaliatory strikes in Gaza after Hamas militants crossed into Israel where they murdered 1,400 civilians and took numerous hostages.

The Ministry of Health in Gaza has reported that more than 10,000 Gaza residents have been killed by Israel since the 7 October attack, and millions have been displaced with issues over access to clean water, food, or safe shelter.

The effects of the conflict have spilt beyond the borders of Israel and Gaza; shortly after the attack, a landlord allegedly stabbed an American Palestinian child living in one of his units 26 times, killing him.

Earlier this week, a Jewish man died counter-protesting at a pro-Palestine rally, and police have identified a pro-Palestine protester as the prime suspect in his death. The former is being prosecuted as a hate crime, while the latter is still under investigation and no arrests have been made as of this report.

The Council for American-Islamic Relations in Cleveland released a statement on Wednesday calling on police to investigate the mysterious, headless baby doll incident as a hate crime.

“We should all feel safe in our neighborhoods and be able to display our heritage without fear of hate-filled retaliation from our neighbors,” Faten Odeh, the chapter's executive director, said in a statement.

The organisation, which is the nation's largest Muslim civil rights group, said that reports of assault, harassment, and intimidation against Muslims have been on the rise since the 7 October attack.

Since the Hamas attack, CAIR has received 774 complaints through 25 October. In contrast, last year during the same time period the organisation received 225 complaints, according to CNN.