Saturday 22 February 2020 
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Israeli rabbi arrested for holding women, children as slaves

An Israeli rabbi has been detained in occupied Jerusalem al-Quds on suspicion of holding dozens of women and children in slave-like conditions.

As Reported by Qods News Agency (Qodsna) The 60-year-old rabbi was arrested on suspicion of running a "closed community" where women and children "worked under conditions of slavery," police said in a statement on Monday.

 

"The suspect also punished the women in different ways and stole money from them," the statement added.

 

When police raided the housing complex in a central ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Jerusalem al-Quds, some 50 women and a number of children under five were found living isolated from the outside world.

 

Police have also detained eight women as accomplices.

 

Police said a two-month investigation was launched before the arrests, after receiving reports that the rabbi had for years committed "severe offences" against those living at the residence.

 

The arrests come after ultra-Orthodox women launched a campaign in November urging those in their community to speak up about domestic abuse.

 

Ultra-Orthodox Jews make up around 10 percent of Israel's population and live in close-knit communities often closed off from wider society.

 

This is not the first time Israeli rabbis have been accused of abusing women and children.

 

In August, dozens of former students of an Orthodox Jewish high school in New York City operated by Yeshiva University sued over claims they were sexually abused by two prominent rabbis in the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

 

The suit alleged that the Yeshiva University High School for Boys failed to protect students and even promoted one of the rabbis to principal after he was accused of abuse.

 

The Yeshiva University High School for Boys has taught boys since 1916. It's considered the first academic Jewish high school in the US and the first to offer both Jewish and secular studies.




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The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates has criticized the European Union for its “weak and late” measures vis-à-vis the Israeli regime’s activities across Palestinian territories, particularly in Jerusalem al-Quds, calling on the 28-member bloc to adopt a firmer stand against the Tel Aviv regime’s “open battle” against the occupied holy city.

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