Police cite “various facts that have come to light after lengthy undercover investigation, substantiating the suspicions.”
By: A7 Staff
The police arrested three suspects early Sunday morning, two men and a woman in their 60s, residents of the city of Jerusalem, on suspicion of their involvement in murder cases and missing cases in police investigations going back more than 30 years.
These are two episodes attributed to the hassidic activists of Eliezer Berland’s “Shuvu Banim” movement. The suspicion is that the detainees operated as part of the self-appointed “modesty police” and are involved in two murder and missing cases.
One case is a missing persons case from 1986 of a young adult, Jerusalem resident Nissim Shitrit, who was reportedly attacked by yeshiva students and complained about it to the police. He disappeared after receiving a phone call to the Knesset cafeteria, where he worked, went out, and was not seen since. The suspicion is that Shitrit was murdered by the “modesty police”.
The second case, from 1990, is Jerusalem resident Avraham Edri, who worked at a yeshiva on Shimon Hatzadik Street and is suspected of being murdered after going out with his wife for recreation.
After their arrest, the three were taken for questioning to the Central Unit in the Jerusalem District. Later in the day, they will be brought before the court, where the police are expected to request an extension of their detention. In accordance with the developments of the investigation, further arrests are to be expected.
It should be noted that in these investigation files there is a restraining order against publicizing any details regarding the arrest, issued by the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. Details of the investigation, as well as any details that may identify the suspects, have been placed under a gag order.
INN also reported that the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has extended the detention of the two men and women suspected in the cases of the disappearance of Nissim Shitrit and the murder of Avi Edri.
Police had requested that their detention be extended by 12 days and added that the three were arrested “following an undercover investigation that took place over a long period of time. The results of the investigation revealed various facts that substantiate the suspicions.”
Meir, a brother of Nissim Shitrit, said: “My brother was severely beaten by members of Berland’s community. He volunteered for Sherut Leumi [civilian service] so that he would be able to carry a gun. There were several groups of criminals there who had switched their secular clothes for haredi ones, but still used secular methods of dealing with people. I managed to find out their names and gave them to the police.”
Two years ago, in the documentary “The Hidden Rabbi” that aired on the Kan network, one of Berland’s followers said that members of the sect’s Modesty Patrol murdered Shitrit, dismembered his body, and buried its parts in the Eshtaol Forest. The same documentary also mentioned the murder of Edri, which was also linked to the Modesty Patrol. His body was found in Ramot Forest in 1990 with severe signs of abuse.