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Fallout of Hamas-Israel war: Biden condemns "horrific act of hate" in Chicago

Chicago (Illinois) [US: US President Joe Biden expressed shock and condemned the "horrific act of hate" that occurred in Chicago where a man allegedly stabbed and killed a 6-year-old boy and seriously wounded his mother, allegedly because they are Muslim tenants, CNN reported.

A Chicago-based man, Joseph M Czuba, aged 71, has been arrested and charged with murder and hate crimes after allegedly stabbing and killing a 6-year-old boy and seriously wounding his mother, CNN reported.

The victims, a Palestinian family, were targeted due to their religion and amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel war.

The sheriff's office said Czuba did not make a statement to detectives but investigators determined the victims were "targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis," CNN reported.

The family is Palestinian and "came to America seeking what we all seek--a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace," according to the White House.

Czuba faces charges of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, two counts of a hate crime, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. The US Justice Department has initiated a federal hate crime investigation into the attack, US Attorney General Merric Garland announced on Sunday

The sheriff's office said Czuba did not make a statement to detectives but investigators determined the victims were "targeted by the suspect due to them being Muslim and the ongoing Middle Eastern conflict involving Hamas and the Israelis," according to CNN.

The family is Palestinian and "came to America seeking what we all seek--a refuge to live, learn, and pray in peace," according to the White House.

The 6-year-old victim, Wadea Al-Fayoume, was fatally stabbed 26 times, while his 32-year-old mother, Hanaan Shahin, sustained over a dozen stab wounds but is expected to recover.

President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden expressed their shock and condolences for the family, condemning the "horrific act of hate." They emphasised that such acts have no place in America and go against the nation's fundamental values of religious freedom and tolerance.

"Our condolences and prayers are with the family. This act of hate against a Palestinian Muslim family has no place in America," posted Biden on X.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) identified the victims and highlighted the need to combat Islamophobia and anti-Palestinian racism in society.

In a statement on X, CAIR National wrote they were "shocked and disturbed" to hear of the boy's death, and said,

"The Islamophobic rhetoric and anti-Palestinian racism being spread by politicians, media outlets, and social media platforms must stop," as reported by CNN.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry also strongly condemned the act of racism and hatred that led to the 6-year-old Palestinian child's death, calling for accountability for those promoting such actions.

"The ministry also condemns the incitement campaigns, attacks, racist statements, and provocative positions that have been directed against Palestinian citizens and several Palestinian embassies and ambassadors in some countries," it said in a statement, adding that it "calls on all nations to confront these actions and to hold their promoters and those behind them accountable."

Joseph M Czuba is in custody at the Will County Adult Detention Facility, awaiting his initial court appearance, CNN reported. (ANI)

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