Alleged plot to assassinate Yemeni rabbi

20 Nov 2009 by CST

A suspected plot to assassinate a rabbi in Yemen has been uncovered by police:

Two people, believed to be of Houthi rebels, have been arrested in connection with plans to assassinate a Jewish Rabbi in Yemen, the News Yemen reported on Thursday.

The website quoting sources which asked not to be identified said the two came to the Tourist City in Sana'a early this week claiming their visit was aimed at touring the city and swimming.

But police suspected the two after they visited the residence of the Rabbi of Jews in Yemen Yahya Yousef and then held them.

Investigations with the arrestees revealed they planned to kill the Rabbi.

Police seized firearms with them.

According to the website, the Rabbi was not present at the time of his foiled assassination plot.

However, the website cited Yousef as saying that arriving at his home, the two told his family they wanted to meet him after his appearances in satellite channels.

The foiled assassination might come because the Rabbi's criticize of the Houthi insurgents who have been fighting the army in the far north since 2004.

Earlier, he accused the Houthi rebels of displacing the Jews in Saada and Amran and stealing their properties including the book of Torah.

There are almost 250 Jews in Yemen, with some of them fleeing Yemen, some secretly, amid alleged harassment and persecution.

Amid the allegations, many Jewish families were transferred in recent years from Saada and Amran to the Tourist City in the capital.

The Yemeni Jewish community  has faced increasing threats and intimidation in recent years. In December 2008, Moshe al-Nahari, a Jewish teacher, was murdered by an assailant who demanded that he convert to Islam. The subsequent pattern of threats and attacks on Jewish homes led Amnesty International to protest to the Yemeni government. In a sadly familiar pattern, the remants of what was once a large community are left to decide whether to stay, or move overseas.


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