Hundreds gather over rumors of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef’s arrest

Border Police deployed in Shmuel Hanavi neighborhood in response to disgruntled neighbors rather than the rabbi himself; no arrests made.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
July 1, 2011 02:13
1 minute read.
Jerusalem protests against arrest of Rabbi  Lior

Lior Demonstration 465 3. (photo credit: marc israel sellem)

 
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The ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Shmuel Hanavi in Jerusalem was abuzz on Thursday morning over the possible arrest of Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, one of the four rabbis who has endorsed the controversial Torat Hamelekh book and was summoned for police questioning this week.

At around 11:00 a.m., hundreds of yeshiva students gathered within a matter of minutes when a rumor raced through the neighborhood that police cars were outside Yosef’s house and his arrest was imminent. MK Yaakov Katz (National Union) reportedly also rushed to the scene.

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There was a border police jeep on the scene, but it was there in response to disgruntled neighbors rather than the rabbi himself. Neighbors, frustrated with the cadre of journalists camped outside Yosef’s apartment in Shmuel Hanavi, called the police who promptly arrived to investigate the situation, sparking a frantic SMS campaign informing residents that Yosef’s apartment was surrounded by police cars.

No arrests were made and it is believed Rabbi Yaacov Yosef was not home at the time.

“This was a promo of what’s going to happen when they arrest him soon,” Rabbi Yosef’s son Yonatan told The Jerusalem Post outside of his father’s apartment, referring to the almost instantaneous massing of young ultraorthodox men ready to riot.

“I hope someone higher up will understand that this will only ignite and explode and bring a great deal of danger.”

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