Multiple stabbings at New York Hanukkah celebrations
29 December 2019, 08:02
Five people have been stabbed at the home of a rabbi in New York during the Jewish festival of Hanukkah.
Officers were called to reports of a stabbing in Monsey, a suburb around an hour north of New York City, just before 10pm.
A suspect has been arrested and a vehicle of interest has been located, said Ramapo Police Chief Brad Weidel.
The stabbings took place during a gathering at the house of a Hasidic Rabbi, which is next door to his synagog.
the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council (OJPAC) for the Hudson Valley region said that five people have been stabbed, all Hasidic Jews.
At 9:50 this eve, a call came in about a mass stabbing at 47 Forshay Road in Monsey (Rockland County; 30 miles North of NYC). It's the house of a Hasidic Rabbi. 5 patients with stab wounds, all Hasidic, were transported to local hospitals.— OJPAC Hudson Valley (@OJPACHV) December 29, 2019
Developing story: Reports of a stabbing attack at a synagogue in Monsey, Rockland County, New York. The town has a large Orthodox Jewish community.— Andy Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) December 29, 2019
Footage recorded at the scene and shared on WhatsApp by people in the community: pic.twitter.com/mOylEp0XQ0
The OJPAC said that two of the victims are critically injured.
Two people have been released from hospital, and the condition of the fifth is still unknown.
There have been reports that the attacker was wearing a scarf and had his face covered for most of the attack.
New York City police confirmed that they will be stepping up patrols in heavily Jewish neighbourhoods following the attack.
The City's Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted: "Hate doesn't have a home in our city."
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in a statement: "I am horrified by the stabbing of multiple people at a synagogue in Rockland County tonight, the latest in a string of attacks against members of the Jewish community in New York this week.
"On behalf of the family of New York, my heart goes out to the victims and I am praying for their full recovery."
He continued: "Let me be clear: anti-Semitism and bigotry of any kind are repugnant to our values of inclusion and diversity and we have absolutely zero tolerance for such acts of hate.
"In New York we will always stand up and say with one voice to anyone who wishes to divide and spread fear: you do not represent New York and your actions will not go unpunished."