The body of a Jewish man murdered in Yemen three weeks ago was laid to rest in
Israel on Thursday.
A plane carrying the remains of the victim, Aharon
Zindani, landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday evening, the Jewish Agency
announced. It said his family members were also on the flight, which was
organized by the Jewish group with assistance from the Foreign and Defense
ministries, and that they plan to stay in Israel.
Zindani was stabbed to
death when he went shopping at a market in Sanaa, Yemen’s capital. His son, who
was reportedly with him at the time of the incident, was quoted as saying he
knew the assailant and that the murderer believed Zindani “ruined and bewitched
him.” The Jewish Agency said his murder appeared to be an anti-Semitic
There are some 130 Jews living in Yemen, an impoverished nation
on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula. In recent decades the country has
been a breeding ground for radical Islamist groups, which pose a threat to the
local Jewish population.
About 50 Yemeni Jews live in Sanaa, where they
are protected by authorities, and the rest live in Amran province. They are the
remnants of a once much larger community that left for ideological reasons,
because of persecution or better opportunities elsewhere. Both Israel and
anti-Zionist haredi groups have aided Jews in leaving Yemen, but the 130 or so
who remain there have so far resisted.