A stabbing in Sweden Tuesday that left a Jewish woman critically wounded was increasingly feared to have been an anti-Semitic attack.
The victim, who is the wife of the leader of Helsingborg’s Jewish community, was stabbed Tuesday morning by an unknown assailant who fled. Swedish police said they were treating the stabbing as an attempted murder and launched a manhunt for the suspect.
Citing the local Jewish community, Israel’s Foreign Ministry said the stabbing appeared to have been anti-Semitic in nature. A leading rabbi echoed this sentiment, though authorities have yet to make any official statement on the matter.
The ministry said Israeli diplomats were in contact with local authorities about the attack and would provide info on the motive once it is known.
“Once again, Jews in Europe are in danger. Today’s brutal stabbing of a member of the Jewish community in Helsingborg, Sweden is yet another reminder that we cannot rely on fading memories of the Holocaust to keep today’s Jewish communities safe, as our schools, synagogues and community centers are turning into fortresses,” Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said in a statement condemning the attack.
“We will fight anti-Semitism with all our might, and will speak out against these dreadful incidents. Our thoughts and prayers are with the injured, her family and community,” he added.
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) May 14, 2019
According to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the assailant was a Muslim man known to authorities. There was no official confirmation in Sweden of this.
Northwestern Scania police spokesperson Eva-Lotta Hermansson said the assailant was believed to be a man and that he escaped on foot.
Aftonbladet, a Jewish daily, quoted a witness to the stabbing as saying the woman cried out in English, “Help me! Help me!”
A member of the Jewish community told SVT public television that the woman was on her way to work when she was attacked.
Police have stationed officers outside the Helsingborg synagogue.
JTA contributed to this report.