The stabbing attack against a woman from the Jewish community in Helsingborg, Sweden, on Tuesday was not a hate crime, local police said they believe at this time.
The woman, who is a member of the board of the Helsingborg Jewish community, was stabbed multiple times and suffered severe injuries.
She underwent surgery for her wounds on Wednesday and has now awoken following the operation and is in stable condition.
A spokesman for the police stated that the prime suspect, a man in his 30s, was arrested Tuesday night in Denmark, and has now been brought back to Sweden and handed over to Swedish police.
Swedish national broadcaster SVT reported that the spokesman stated the suspect does not have a previous record of hate crimes, but that the victim and the suspect do not know each other.
The suspect was however known to the police and other authorities prior to the attack.
A member of the Jewish community in Helsingborg who wished to remain anonymous,told The Jerusalem Post that the community has been shocked by the attack and will be holding a meeting of its members together with the local police and the Israeli ambassador on Thursday night.
The individual stated that there has been no recent incidents of antisemitism in Helsingborg and that the small Jewish community of around 100 members leads “a quiet life” in the city, holding prayer services every Shabbat and holiday.
Although Helsingborg has been free of antisemitism, nearby Malmo has been a hot bed of antisemitic attacks in recent years, much of which has reportedly emanated from its large Muslim population, which constitutes about a third of the city’s residents.
In December there was an attempted arson attack against a building in a Jewish cemetery there, which was followed by an arson threat made by two teenagers, at least one of whom was Muslim, against a Jewish community center in the city.
Fredrik Sieradzki, a spokesperson for the Jewish community in Malmo, said that antisemitic incidents have spread outside of the city as well, pointing to an antisemitic arson attack on the home of a Jewish couple in Lund just outside Malmo in October last year, the second such attack in Lund in 2018.
Far-right and neo-Nazi groups have also increased in prominence, particularly the Nordic Resistance Movement, which has held frequent marches in Sweden of late, most recently on May 1 in the city of Kunglav, 235 km. north of Helsingborg.
Sieradzki also noted strong anti-Zionist sentiment in Malmo, exemplified on May 1 when the SSU, the youth wing of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, marched through the city chanting “Long live Palestine, crush Zionism.”