Zurich hikes security at Jewish institutions after stabbing

Zurich hikes security at Jewish institutions after stabbing
Zurich hikes security at Jewish institutions after stabbing

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Nevin Al Sukari - Sana'a - The statement said the motives for the attack were unclear, but that Zurich cantonal police and the youth prosecutor’s office in charge of the investigation were explicitly looking into the possibility that it was an 'anti-Semitic crime'. — Reuters pic

GENEVA, March 3 — Zurich police said today they were hiking security in front of Jewish institutions after a potentially anti-Semitic knife attack left an Orthodox Jewish man in serious condition.

Police in Switzerland’s largest city said the 50-year-old was “critically injured” in the attack late yesterday and a 15-year-old Swiss boy suspected of being the perpetrator had been arrested on site.

The statement said the motives for the attack were unclear, but that Zurich cantonal police and the youth prosecutor’s office in charge of the investigation were explicitly looking into the possibility that it was an “anti-Semitic crime”.

The police also said they had consulted with various Jewish institutions in the city following the incident and decided to increase security around the institutions as a “precautionary measure” .

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The GRA Foundation working against racism and anti-Semitism condemned the attack, maintaining that witnesses had heard the alleged perpetrator shout “anti-Semitic slogans that suggest a hate crime”.

“It was not just an isolated case,” it said in a statement, adding that it was clearly part of a pattern linked to the tensions over Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

“Since the escalation in the Middle East, anti-Semitic incidents in Switzerland have skyrocketed,” it said.

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Anti-semitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes have been on the rise in many countries since the current conflict began on October 7, when Hamas carried out an unprecedented attack inside Israel.

That attack resulted in the deaths of about 1,160 people, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally of official figures, and also saw the militants abduct 250 hostages, of whom 130 remain in captivity, including 31 presumed dead, according to Israel.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive on the besieged Palestinian territory has killed more than 30,400 people, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza.

“If the anti-Semitic motive is proven, the attack will represent a turning-point and should not be viewed as just an isolated case,” GRA Foundation said.

“Such attacks threaten us all and our peaceful coexistence.” — AFP

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