Up to six people have been stabbed at Pride in Jerusalem by a religious fanatic. The assailant, an ultra Orthodox Jew, was immediately arrested.

‘I saw an ultra-Orthodox youth stabbing everyone in his way,’ said Shai Aviyor, a witness interviewed on Israel’s Channel 2 television. ‘We heard people screaming, everyone ran for cover, and there were bloodied people on the ground.’

Far-right Jewish group Lehava had previously released a statement, saying that it would not allow the event ‘to pass quietly.’ The anti-assimilation group had equated homosexuality with bank robbery in an interview with The Jerusalem Post.

Jerusalem Police said: ‘The stabber is known to us, an investigation is underway, and we will study the incident.’

The attacker has been identified as Ishay Shliser, who stabbed three people at the parade 10 years ago, and had only recently been released after spending years in prison.

Though it attracts much smaller crowds than in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem’s yearly Pride parade had thousands in attendance, including tourists and even members of East Jerusalem’s Arab gay community.