Israeli in custody for stabbing Ukrainian man in Uman

Jpost Exclusive: Police report pilgrim in custody after allegedly drunkenly stabbing a Ukrainian man caught stealing.

September 11, 2010 16:07
1 minute read.
pilgrimage to the gravesite of Rabbi Nahman.

Rabbi Nahman supporters in Ukraine 311. (photo credit: Ben Hartman)


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An Israeli citizen was in police custody on Saturday in Uman, Ukraine after he reportedly stabbed a Ukranian citizen in the Jewish quarter of the city Friday night.

Reports of what led to the stabbing are conflicting and still unclear, but a number of witnesses said the Israeli man was drunk and that the altercation broke out after the Ukranian man was allegedly caught stealing from Jewish tourists who came to Uman for the annual Rosh Hashana pilgrimage.

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Ukranian police said the local man was stabbed in the stomach and taken to a local hospital in serious condition.

The police added that two Ukranian policemen were injured in a mass altercation with hundreds of pilgrims that broke out after they came to arrest the man. One witness said the Israeli man attacked the police during his arrest and that the moment police put their hands on the man the crowd began fighting with police to prevent him from being taken into custody.

The incident came only a day after hundreds of Jewish pilgrims rioted when confronted by police in Uman.

The riot began when the two men, both Ukrainian locals from Uman, fled to a waiting parked car. Within moments it was encircled by hundreds of irate pilgrims who banged on the roof and doors, screaming "Ganaf" and "Ganav". Ukrainian police and security services arrived on the scene and formed a barrier around the men and their car. As the crowd surged the police began pushing and using German Shepherds to herd the mob. At one point, an officer sprayed mace into the crowd, leaving dozens scattering and wiping at their eyes.

The scene remained tense until two Israel police officers stationed in Uman for the pilgrimage showed up and began to speak to the Ukrainian police and calm the crowd at the same time. After a short deliberation, the two suspects were bundled into a Ukrainian police SUV and taken to town for an investigation.

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