New York, At least five people were injured after being stabbed during a Hanukkah celebration at the house of a Rabbi in New York, the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council said in a statement.
The attack took place at around 10 p.m. on Saturday in Monsey, a Jewish-majority neighbourhood in northern New York, reports Efe news.
The OJPAC tweeted that the attacker, who was later caught by the police, stabbed five people – with a female victim being stabbed six times – after barging inside the house, where a religious celebration was underway.
According to preliminary information, the attacker, with no previous criminal record, acted alone. The OJPAC said two of the victims were in critical condition.
The motive behind the attack was yet to be determined, although the counter-terrorism unit of the the New York Police Department said that it was investigating the incident.
Local media reported that the suspect’s arrest was made possible because witnesses noticed the registration plate of the vehicle he used to flee from the spot.
New York State Attorney General Letitia James said her department would investigate the incident in detail and reaffirmed a “zero-tolerance” policy towards hate crimes.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the stabbings were a “despicable and cowardly act”, the BBC reported.
“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,” he said in a statement.
The attack came a day after New York city police said officers were stepping up patrols in heavily Jewish districts following a spate of anti-Semitic threats and attacks.
The attack follows a series of anti-Semitic threats and attacks in and around New York City. On Friday, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced extra police patrols in three areas of Brooklyn.
Earlier this month officials in New Jersey said a gun attack that killed a detective and three people in a Jewish supermarket was being investigated as “potential acts of domestic terror, fuelled both by anti-Semitism and anti-law enforcement beliefs”.
In April a gunman killed a female rabbi and wounded three people at a synagogue in San Diego. That attack came exactly six months after the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in US history, when a gunman killed 11 worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.