November 13, 2015 / 10:31 AM / 3 years ago

Security boosted at Milan Jewish sites after stabbing

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy boosted security at Jewish sites in Milan on Friday after an Israeli Jew was knifed in the city, police said.

Nathan Graff was stabbed in the back and face on Thursday evening by an unknown assailant near a Jewish school in Italy’s financial capital, police said. They added that his wounds were not life threatening.

The attacker has not yet been caught and his motives are not known, but a judicial source said anti-terrorism prosecutors were investigating whether it was a hate crime.

Members of the Jewish community in Milan said Graff was wearing a kippa, or skullcap, at the time of the attack.

“Let us hope this was an isolated incident,” Milo Hasbani, co-president of the Jewish community in Milan, told reporters after meeting city officials to discuss the stabbing.

“We have never had problems in Milan. We are well integrated into the city and have no fear ... We don’t think this was a personal affair, there is nothing to suggest that.”

Police said they were looking at video from surveillance cameras in the area to try to identify the attacker.

If it is confirmed as a hate attack, it would echo a spate of recent stabbings in Israel and the occupied West Bank, with Palestinians lashing out at Israelis in the worst wave of violence in the area since the 2014 Gaza war.

Reporting by Sara Rossi; Writing by Crispian Balmer Editing by Jeremy Gaunt

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