A Jewish man attacked with a knife by a lone assailant in Milan says the attack was motivated by anti-Semitic sentiment.

Nathan Graff was quoted Saturday by the Italian daily La Repubblica, saying he believes the attacker "had just one goal: to kill an Orthodox Jew, to strike at our community here in Milan and scare us."

Graff, 40, was attacked with a knife from behind near a kosher pizzeria in Milan, suffering multiple wounds to his back, face and arm. Graff is bearded and wore a yarmulke at the time.

The news agency ANSA quoted the Israeli ambassador to Italy, Naor Gilon, as saying it was an anti-Semitic act.

Prosecutors have yet to add the aggravating circumstance of racial hatred to the attempted murder investigation.