An attacker has stabbed five people at a rabbi’s home in the US State of New York, a Jewish group says.
The attack happened late on Saturday in Rockland County, about 30 miles north of New York City.
Two of the victims are in critical condition, with one of them being stabbed six times, police said.
The attacker was covering his face with a scarf when he entered the home and attacked the victims using a machete during a Chanukah celebration.
“The suspect fled the scene, but he is in custody at this time,” the Ramapo Police Department said in a Facebook post.
In New York City, the NYPD's Counterterrorism Bureau said it was “closely monitoring" the situation,
We are closely monitoring the reports of multiple people stabbed at a synagogue in Monsey, NY (Rockland County) pic.twitter.com/cHoQnbneKO— NYPDCounterterrorism (@NYPDCT) December 29, 2019
Letitia James, the state attorney general of New York, condemned the attack on Twitter.
I am deeply disturbed by the situation unfolding in Monsey, New York tonight.— NY AG James (@NewYorkStateAG) December 29, 2019
There is zero tolerance for acts of hate of any kind and we will continue to monitor this horrific situation.
I stand with the Jewish community tonight and every night.
The attack came a day after New York City police said it would step up patrols in heavily Jewish districts following a spate of anti-Semitic threats and attacks.
Earlier this month, President Donald Trump signed an executive order making Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act apply to anti-Semitic acts, amid concerns that it would be used to silence those who oppose Israel's apartheid policy toward the Palestinians.
Critics called the move an effort to stifle free speech and criticism of Israel.
Ironically, several Jewish groups in the US accused President Trump of promoting anti-Semitism during a speech while trying to appeal to Jewish voters.
In his address to the Israeli American Council in Hollywood, Florida, December 7, Trump said Israel "has never had a better friend in the White House" than himself, and he listed his acts since taking office, which he thought demonstrated that friendship.
Trump sought to convince the Jewish audience that they had “no choice” but to vote for him or else lose money to Democratic presidential contenders’ wealth tax plans.
Halie Soifer, the executive director of the Jewish Democratic Council of America called the president’s remarks “deeply offensive” and his use of stereotypes “unconscionable,” saying that the Saturday night remarks “only reinforce our belief ... that Donald Trump is the biggest threat to American Jews.”
"We strongly denounce these vile and bigoted remarks in which the president – once again – used anti-Semitic stereotypes to characterize Jews as driven by money and insufficiently loyal to Israel," Soifer said.
The latest incident follows an April attack, which saw a gunman kill a female rabbi and injure three other people in a town near San Diego.
A few months before that, a gunman opened fire on worshipers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh in what is being described as the deadliest attack of its kind in US history.
At least eleven people were killed and a number of others injured in the mass shooting near the Tree of Life Synagogue.
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