The Swiss Times - Swiss News in English

Security measures increased after attack on Orthodox Jew

Updated at 03 Mar 2024 1:10 pm

After a 15-year-old Swiss man seriously injured an orthodox Jew with a stabbing weapon in Zurich on Saturday evening, security measures have been increased in places with a Jewish connection. The Zurich cantonal police are also on duty.

After consultation with the Jewish organizations of the city of Zurich, the Zurich city police have increased security precautions around specific locations with a Jewish connection as a precautionary measure, the city police announced on Sunday afternoon. They are also being supported by the Zurich cantonal police.

The police were able to arrest the suspect at the scene. The injured 50-year-old man had to be hospitalized by paramedics, according to the Zurich city police. The ongoing investigation would explicitly include the possibility of an anti-Semitically motivated crime, it said.

The background and course of events were unclear at the time of the announcement. The attack took place in Zurich's Kreis 2 district. At 9.35 p.m., the incident room received a report of an argument between several people. The Zurich cantonal police and the responsible juvenile prosecutor's office investigated in all directions.

The Foundation against Racism and Anti-Semitism (GRA) condemned the act in the strongest possible terms in a statement. This is a turning point and affects civil society as a whole. It is not an isolated incident, but a consequence of the escalation of racist and anti-Semitic incidents.

Anti-Semitism on the rise

Incidents of antisemitism have increased in Switzerland since the Hamas attack in Israel in October 2023 and the war in the Middle East. The Center for Combating Anti-Semitism and Defamation in French-speaking Switzerland (Cicad) recently published figures showing that anti-Semitic incidents in French-speaking Switzerland increased by 68% in 2023. Almost half of these occurred after October 7.

At the beginning of February, the Federal Council announced that it would work with the cantons to develop a strategy and an action plan against racism and anti-Semitism. It will also examine whether a new commissioner for combating racism and anti-Semitism should be appointed.

©Keystone/SDA

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