Pompeo condemns 'despicable' stabbing in Monsey

Secretary of State on stabbing in Monsey: This despicable act of anti-Semitism during Hanukkah celebrations is sickening.

Elad Benari ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Sunday condemned the stabbing attack against Hasidic Jews in Monsey, New York.

“I’m saddened to hear the news about the mass stabbing at an Orthodox rabbi's house in New York last night. This despicable act of anti-Semitism during Hanukkah celebrations is sickening. We offer our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and the Jewish community,” he tweeted.

Saturday night’s attack took place at approximately 9:50 p.m. while congregants gathered a Hasidic synagogue operated by Rabbi Rottenburg in Monsey, New York.

Some 50 to 60 people had gathered to light Hanukkah candles when the assailant, who was covering his face with a scarf, burst into the synagogue brandishing a machete, and began stabbing congregants.

Some congregants hurled chairs and a small table at the assailant, forcing him to flee.

The attacker drove off, making his way to New York City. Police found him roughly two hours later, at around midnight, after identifying his car via the license plate number.

The attacker, identified as 37-year-old Grafton Thomas, has been charged with five counts of attempted murder.

Earlier on Sunday, US President Donald Trump condemned the machete attack and called for a united front to “eradicate” anti-Semitism.

“The anti-Semitic attack in Monsey, New York, on the 7th night of Hanukkah last night is horrific,” Trump tweeted.

“We must all come together to fight, confront, and eradicate the evil scourge of anti-Semitism. Melania and I wish the victims a quick and full recovery.”