Monday, August 13, 2012

Widow of murdered Yemen Jew moves to Israel

Luiza Nahari and her four younger children were reunited at Ben Gurion airport with her five older children who had already moved to Israel. (Photo: Sasson Tiram, Jewish Agency)

A grisly chapter came to a close when Luiza Nahari, a Yemenite Jew whose husband, Moshe, was murdered in their hometown of Raydah in December 2008, immigrated to Israel on Sunday morning with four of her children, the Times of Israel reports. The murder triggered the exodus of most of the rest of Yemen's Jews. There are little more than 100 left. (With thanks: Lily)

Nahari was reunited with her five other children, who had moved to Israel following her husband’s murder.

“Moshe Nahari was murdered only because he was a Jew. His youngest son was only a few months old when his father was killed,” Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky said on Sunday. “Luiza’s aliya and emotional reunion with her children closes their own personal circle, but also closes a Zionist circle as well.”

Moshe Nahari served as a Hebrew teacher and ritual slaughterer for the Jewish community of Raydah in the Yemenite province of Amran. He was in his 30s when he was shot dead in the town market by Abdul Aziz Yahya Al-Abdi, a former Yemeni Air Force officer. Al-Abdi reportedly yelled “Jew, accept the message of Islam”, before opening fire with a Kalashnikov rifle.

A preliminary investigation revealed that Nahari’s assailant had murdered his own wife two years earlier, but paid her family monetary compensation to avoid serving time in prison. A high-ranking security official in the Amran province, Ahmed el-Sarihi, described Al-Abdi as “an extremist who suffers from mental problems,” Ynet reported at the time.

Al-Abdi was convicted of murder in March 2009, and was ordered to pay the Nahari family 5.5 million Yemeni Rial (approximately $27,500) and to be hospitalized in a mental institution. The verdict was appealed by the Nahari family, and, in June 2009, the sentence was changed to death penalty. The Chinese Xinhua news agency reported in April 2011 that Al-Abdi had escaped custody. There has been no report of his recapture.

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