At least five people have suffered multiple stabbing and slashing injuries following a gruesome machete attack during Hanukkah celebrations at a rabbi’s home next to a synagogue in Monsey, New York.
The perpetrator, allegedly a black male, broke into the house of Rabbi Rottenberg Shul around 9:50pm local time, armed with a machete and began slashing and stabbing people, chasing the victims as they tried to flee the bloody chaos.
According to some reports, he then tried to break into the adjacent synagogue, with people barricaded inside, but failed and fled the scene in a vehicle.
As the day progressed, New York police reportedly arrested a possible suspect in a car that matched the description of a vehicle used to escape the synagogue. The arrest was made by NYPD 32nd precinct, which oversees the northeast of Harlem.
There were at least five victims – all Hasidic Jews – according to the local Orthodox Jews Public Affairs Council. It is not clear if anyone was killed, but at least two of those rushed to the hospital are reportedly in critical condition.
The incident follows a string of anti-Semitic assaults in New York, including on Friday morning, when three young Jewish women were attacked in Brooklyn.
The victims, aged 22-31, were attacked with anti-Semitic shouts and violence while walking at approximately 1:00 a.m. on Kingston Avenue in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood.
The suspect was arrest and has been charged with harassment and committing a hate crime.
Later on Friday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned promised to increase police presence in Jewish neighborhoods.