Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira, a well known religious figure, was stabbed to death in a Beersheba yeshiva shortly after midnight on Friday morning.

Stunned followers told police Abuchatzeira was stabbed in the upper body by a man he had received as a visitor.

Police have arrested a suspect they said was delivered to officers by a crowd. The suspect was taken for questioning.

The motive for the homicide has not been established at this stage.

Rabbi Abuchatzeira was rushed to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba in critical condition. Paramedics attempted to resuscitate him, but he died en route to the hospital.

Southern police district head Cmdr. Yossi Preinti arrived at the yeshiva and received updated on details of the incident by police officers from the Negev police sub-district.

Police have tasked the Negev sub-district's central unit with leading the murder investigation.

The murder suspect is expected to appear before the Beersheva Magistrate's Court on Friday morning for a remand hearing.

Meanwhile, hundreds of officers were deployed in Jerusalem on Friday to secure the large number of expected mourners who will arrive for Rabbi Abuchatzeira's funeral.

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