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Rabbi Eliezer Berland Arrested in 30-Year-Old Shuvu Banim Murder Case

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Rabbi is linked to the murder of a yeshiva student and an administrator’s disappearance.

Edited by: TJVNews.com

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, the leader of the Shuvu Banim community, was arrested by the police on Monday on suspicion of his involvement in murders and disappearances of individuals that occurred in the mid-1980s and early 1990s in the Jerusalem area.

The total of suspects who have been arrested in the past two weeks in connection with the case is now nine.

They are suspected of involvement in the death of 17-year-old Nissim Shitrit, who has been missing since 1986. In addition, they are suspected of the murder of a yeshiva director, Avi Edri, 41, in 1990.

All the suspects, in their 60s and 70s, are members of the ultra-Orthodox Shuvu Banim community.

The Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court has placed a gag order on all other details of the case.

Berland is currently imprisoned after being convicted of fraud and exploitation charges. He has previously served time for sex offenses.

Israel National News previously reported that 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.”

INN also reported that 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.

In August of this year, INN reported that Berland, 83, had contracted the coronavirus and had been hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Keren hospital in Jerusalem. He was on oxygen support.

INN also reported that in June of this year, after a long-drawn-out legal process, Berland was convicted of serious offences and sentenced to 18 months in prison. He was later transferred to an undisclosed location, after his followers persisted in congregating outside the various places where he was being held and causing disturbances in the local community.

Berland was also fined the sum of NIS 2,415,000 ($743,250) and ordered to pay compensation to the victims of his crimes, which included fraud, attempted intimidation, tax offenses, and money laundering, as was reported by INN. (Sources: TPS and Israel National News)





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