3 attackers of Kiryat Gat Rabbi indicted

Young men who attacked Rabbi Moshe Havlin over his support for IDF draft deal with Chabad indicted for series of crimes, including assault.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat
Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat
Photo: Mendy Rizel

The Southern District Attorney's office filed an indictment in the Ashkelon Magistrates Court against Shlomo Zalman, Yehuda Leib, and Menachem Mendel (first names only), three young men associated with the haredi community who attacked the Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Gat, Rabbi Moshe Havlin, in his home.

The three are charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, illegal assembly, assault, and other crimes.

Rabbi Havlin, a member of the Chabad (Lubavitch) Hasidic community, was targeted by the vandals because of his support for a recently negotiated agreement between Chabad yeshivas and the IDF.

As part of the arrangement, 85% of Chabad students will be drafted, while 15% will receive exemptions to study and work as emissaries.

Those not receiving exemptions will also receive a two-year deferral to allow them to study at the ‘Kevutzah’ school in 770, the Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn.

Haredi draft opponents blasted the arrangement, and on Wednesday night a group of anti-Zionist demonstrators confronted Rabbi Havlin at his home in Kiryat Gat.

According to the indictment, the three accused arrived in Kiryat Gat by minibus from Beit Shemesh that night, with the express purpose of attacking Rabbi Havlin for his support for the IDF deal.

The accused pushed the Rabbi and forced entry into his apartment, where they proceeded to cause mayhem, blowing Shofars, strewing pamphlets all over the house and screaming abuse at Rabbi Havlin to the effect that he is an "enemy of the Jewish people, a shame for his family, for the Lubavitcher Rebbe, who sells souls for 600 Shekels and throws children out to become heretics," and other similar statements.

The accused young men also attacked the Rabbi's wife, and she had to be hurried to the hospital for medical treatment for shock. The District Attorney's office requested that one of the defendants be kept in custody until the termination of legal proceedings against him and also requested that restrictive conditions for the other two defendants be extended.