Headlines for December 30, 2019

In New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has condemned an attack against Jewish worshipers celebrating Hanukkah inside the home of a Hasidic rabbi in the New York suburb of Monsey.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “This is violence spurred by hate. It is mass violence. And I consider this an act of domestic terrorism. Let’s call it what it is. These people are domestic terrorists.”

Witnesses say the attacker burst into Rabbi Chaim Rottenberg’s home wielding a machete, stabbing five Jews among 100 who had gathered to celebrate Hanukkah. Police say a suspect, 38-year-old Grafton Thomas, was arrested driving back along the George Washington Bridge.

His lawyer and friends say Thomas has a long history of mental illness, including schizophrenia, and that he has no known history of anti-Semitism. All five victims of the stabbing have survived. One remains hospitalized with a skull fracture. The Hanukkah attack comes after a string of other attacks targeting the Jewish community in the New York region, including a fatal shooting at a kosher supermarket in Jersey City and the stabbing of a Jewish worshiper on his way to a synagogue in Monsey.

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