Six people were stabbed at the Jerusalem pride parade on Thursday evening, police said.
One of them, a woman, was in critical condition, Magen David Adom’s Eli Bin said. Two others were in serious condition.
A suspect in the attack, an ultra-Orthodox man who was protesting against the parade, was arrested.
The suspect was named as Yishai Schlissel. Police confirmed that Schlissel is the same man who stabbed three marchers in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade in 2005. He was recently released from jail.
Channel 2 quoted unnamed sources saying it was clear to some of those who were in contact with Schlissel that he “hadn’t changed” his extremist views. In 2005, he had said he was on a mission from God.
The man ran at the marchers at the corner of Keren Hayesod and Sokolow Street at about 6.45 p.m. He attacked one person after another until the police reached him, Channel 2 reported.
“It was terrible,” an eyewitness told The Times of Israel.
A witness who identified himself only as Dan said the attacker tried to approach the parade near Paris Square, along the route of the march, but was turned away by police. He then circled back and ran at the crowd screaming near the corner of Washington and Keren Hayesod Streets, in the center of the city, he said.
Pictures of the suspect shown on Israeli television showed a man in ultra-Orthodox garb with a kitchen knife stabbing participants and then being wrestled to the ground.
Another eyewitness, Adi, told Channel 2 that the man was in his 30s or 40s. “He stabbed some of us… I saw him pinned to the floor by the cops. It was a despicable scene.
Paramedics were at the scene in central Jerusalem providing treatment. The victims were taken to Shaare Zedek and Hadassah hospitals.
Thousands of participants in the 13th annual Jerusalem Pride Parade were making their way down the capital’s Keren Hayesod Street, accompanied by hundreds of police officers guarding the route, when the attack occurred.
Police had no information indicating plans to attack the parade.
Several dozen members of the radical right-wing group Lehava, which opposes relations between Jews and non-Jews in Israel, protested the parade as it set out from the city’s Independence Park.
In 2005, Yishai Schlissel stabbed three marchers in Jerusalem’s Gay Pride parade. He was recently released from jail.
Jerusalem police spokesperson Assi Aharoni said he could not confirm rumors that the assailant was Schlissel, who said in 2005 that he was on a mission from God.