'Knife Attack In Zurich Shocked Me': Swiss President Condemns Anti-Semitic Stabbing 'Linked to Islamic State'

1 month ago

Last Updated: March 04, 2024, 21:25 IST

Zurich, Switzerland

Buildings of Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse are seen on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, Switzerland March 20, 2023. (Reuters File Photo)

Buildings of Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse are seen on the Paradeplatz in Zurich, Switzerland March 20, 2023. (Reuters File Photo)

Swiss president condemns anti-Semitic stabbing in Zurich allegedly linked to Islamic State. Security heightened around Jewish institutions

The Swiss president insisted Monday that “anti-Semitism has no place in Switzerland”, after the brutal stabbing over the weekend of an Orthodox Jewish man, allegedly by a teenager pledging allegiance to Islamic State.

Her comment came after the 50-year-old Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed in Switzerland’s largest city late Saturday, with police initially saying he had been “critically injured”. “The knife attack in Zurich shocked me,” President Viola Amherd wrote on X, adding that her thoughts were with the victim and all Jewish citizens in the country.

Der Messerangriff in Zürich schockiert mich. Ich denke an den verletzten Mann und unsere jüdischen Mitbürgerinnen und Mitbürger. #Antisemitismus hat keinen Platz in der Schweiz. Die Justiz muss die Fakten klären und ihren Weg gehen. pic.twitter.com/oudsCDoe47— Viola Amherd (@Violapamherd) March 4, 2024

The Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities however told the Swiss news agency Keystone-ATS news agency Monday that the man’s life was no longer in danger. A police statement on Sunday said the motives for the attack remained unclear but that investigators were looking into the possibility that it was an “anti-Semitic crime”.

A 15-year-old Swiss boy with a Tunisian background is suspected of carrying out the attack, the youth prosecutor’s office said Monday, adding that it was holding him in custody. The suspect had made a video claiming responsibility for the attack, Zurich cantonal police chief Mario Fehr confirmed during a press conference.

In the video, the teenager voices his allegiance to the Islamic State jihadist group and called for fighting Jews around the world, police said, according to Keystone-ATS. The youth prosecutor’s office meanwhile said investigators were looking into whether or not the attacker acted alone.

Police in Zurich announced Sunday they were hiking security around Jewish institutions as a “precautionary measure”. The Zurich-based Foundation Against Racism and anti-Semitism condemned the attack, saying 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.

“Since the escalation in the Middle East, anti-Semitic incidents in Switzerland have skyrocketed.” Anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crimes have been on the rise in many countries since Hamas militants from Gaza carried out an unprecedented attack inside Israel on October 7.

(With agency inputs)


Rohit is sub-editor at News18.com and covers international news. He previously worked with Asian News (ANI). He is interested in world a

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