The body of a Jewish man murdered in Yemen three weeks ago will be laid to rest in Israel on Thursday. The Jewish Agency for Israel announced a plane carrying the remains of the victim Aharon Zindani landed at Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday evening. 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 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 for Israel said the attack was apparently anti-Semitic in nature.
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 help Jews leave Yemen, but the 130 or so who remain there have so far resisted.