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October 19, 2016 11:55 am

Report: Four Suspects Arrested in Beating, Robbery of Chabad Rabbi at Ukrainian Train Station

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Rabbi Mendel Deitsch. Photo: Courtesy.

Rabbi Mendel Deitsch. Photo: Courtesy.

Four suspects in the beating and robbery of a rabbi at a train station in Ukraine earlier this month have been arrested, the Lubavitch community news site Chabad.org reported on Wednesday.

According to the report, based on local Ukrainian media outlets, two men and two women from the Carpathian Mountains region were detained earlier this week in connection with the attack on Rabbi Mendel Deitsch, which took place in Zhitomir, either on the night of October 6 or early in the morning of October 7.

Deitsch, a 63-year-old dual French-Israeli citizen who served as a Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in Ukraine, was airlifted to a hospital in Israel after suffering life-threatening injuries in the attack.

According to Ukrainian media, the suspects robbed Deitsch of his cell phone and cash and left him bleeding and unconscious under a bridge near the main train station in Zhitomir. They then reportedly fled the city, but returned a week later, at which point they were identified by police.

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Deitsch is said to be in stable but serious condition at Tel Hashomer Hospital in Ramat Gan.

Following the incident, Rabbi Shlomo Wilhelm — the director of Chabad-Lubavitch of Zhitomir — told Chabad.org, “It should be noted that this is an unusual case that does not in any way reflect on the community in Ukraine.” The attack, Wilhelm said, did not appear to have been motivated by antisemitism.

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