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Chief Rabbi's Brother Killed;  Jewish Community Seeks Protection
  Written By: Hakim Almasmari (YEMEN POST STAFF) 
  Article Date:
December 15, 2008



The Specialized Penal Prosecution will investigate Abdul Aziz Mahmoud Al-Abdi, a former officer in the Yemeni Air Force, for killing Jewish businessman Moshe bin Ya'aish bin Yahya, 35.

These measures were taken in preparation for referring Al-Abdi to judiciary, according to the Media Center of the Interior Ministry.

Moshe is the younger brother of the Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in Yemen. He teaches Torah and other religious information in his hometown in Amran Province's Raydah district.

Security sources revealed that preliminary investigations point to extreme religious motivations behind the incident. Sources close to Al-Abdi's family pointed out that he has severe psychological problems.

The sources also mentioned that Al-Abdi sent a few weeks ago a letter to the victim telling him that he has three options: to embrace Islam, to leave Yemen or to be killed.

For his part, Al-Abdi, now suspended from his job, confessed to his crime and stressed that he had committed the crime to get closer to god, especially after the victim turned down the first two offers.  

Deputy Minister of Interior directed security apparatuses of Amran province to arrest ten people in connection with the killing incident of Moshe, after they had been allegedly accused of being involved in the crime.

Prosecution proceedings indicated that Al-Abdi had traveled a few months ago to Saudi Arabia and Lebanon; however, it never referred to the reasons behind both visits. They also noted that he was dismissed from the air forces for misconduct. He was also accused of killing his wife, but the case was resolved through tribal mediation.

Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community Yahya bin Ya'aish bin Yahya, 40, denied receiving any letter from Al-Abdi and complained that the Jewish community in Raydah and Al-Souk Al-Jadeed in Amran province's Raydah and Kharf district are exposed to constant assaults and hostile acts.

The Chief Rabbi told media outlets that these assaults are directed by known persons who are supported by influential people in both district, hinting that their complaints to sheikhs and dignitaries yielded nothing.

"All sheikhs, dignitaries and officials in both districts have failed to protect us. Now things came to the killing of my brother who was killed in the middle of the market with cold blood. Why?" Yahya enquired.

Yahya continued, "We, the followers of the Jewish religion, do not carry weapons and we do not even wear Jambiahís, because we are a minority and people of the book. We have always lived under the protection of Muslims."

He implored President Saleh to provide them with security and protection, or to pay for their homes and property and deploy them outside the country once he is incapable of providing protection to them.

Yahya's brother Yousuf went in the same line and revealed that they are exposed to constant threats and assaults.

In related news, Moshe's mother and his brother Yousuf, who came from Isreal to attend the burial ceremony, sustained moderate injuries as they were involved in a traffic accident on Sana'a-Amran highway. Sources also mentioned that the victimís relatives have been arriving to Sana'a since last Friday to attend his burial ceremony, including his brother, two sisters and two daughters, who now live in Israel.