Israel’s Prime Minister Wishes Recovery to Salman Rushdie
21:53 GMT 13.08.2022 (Updated: 22:15 GMT 13.08.2022)
© AFP 2022 / EMMANUEL DUNANDIsraeli alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid arrives for a photo at the President's residence during a ceremony for the new coalition government in Jerusalem, on June 14, 2021. - A motley alliance of Israeli parties on June 13 ended Benjamin Netanyahu's 12 straight years as prime minister, as parliament voted in a new government led by his former ally, right-wing Jewish nationalist Naftali Bennett.
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has condemned the attack on acclaimed novelist Salman Rushdie, who was stabbed at a literary festival in New York, wishing him a swift recovery.
On Friday, Rushdie, 75, was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, when he was suddenly stabbed twice by 24-year-old Hadi Matar, of New Jersey. Rushdie's literary agent Andrew Wylie told media outlets that the author remains hospitalized and is likely to lose one eye. Rushdie also suffered damage to his liver and the nerves in one of his arms were severed. He has already undergone some surgery.
"The attack on Salman Rushdie is an attack on our freedoms and values. It is the result of decades of incitement led by the extremist regime in Tehran. On behalf of the people of Israel, we wish him a full and speedy recovery," Lapid said on social media on Saturday.
Earlier, US President Joe Biden said that he was shocked and saddened by the "vicious" attack on Rushdie.
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said on social media that "what we always feared has happened" and added that his thoughts were with Rushdie's family and loved ones.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has also wished Rushdie an early recovery.
13 August, 21:13 GMT
The attacker, Hadi Matar, has been arrested and charged with one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of second-degree assault (on a man who moderated the Friday literary event). An attorney for Matar entered a not guilty plea on his behalf at a court hearing on Saturday. Matar could face up to 25 years in prison.
US media reported citing a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation that a preliminary review of Matar's social media showed that he had sympathies for Shia extremism and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).
Rushdie is a celebrated India-born British-American author and winner of numerous literary prizes. In 1989, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the supreme leader of Iran at that time, issued an edict calling for the killing of Rushdie, whose book "The Satanic Verses" is viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims.