Ukrainian news agencies are reporting several violent incidents involving Israelis who visited the grave of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in the city of Uman over Rosh Hashana weekend.
According to the reports, one of the Israelis visiting the gravesite on the 200th anniversary of the rabbi's death stabbed a local civilian, while others blocked rescue forces from attending to the victim, forcing police to use riot-dispersal means and injuring two officers.
Other reports say the worshippers were found to have various narcotics in their possession. The alleged stabber is believed to have been inebriated
at the time of the incident.
Ukrainian authorities believe some 20,000 Jews made the pilgrimage to the rabbi's grave this year, most of them from Israel.
Nachman Tobol, an Israeli national who traveled to Ukraine this year, told Ynet about the stabbing.
"Two locals tried to steal from an apartment rented by Israelis, which happens a lot. Every year there are thefts, but this time they were caught red-handed," he said.
Tobol said the thieves were asked to return what they had stolen, but refused.
"One of the Israelis stabbed one of the thieves, who was lightly injured, and to the best of my knowledge the police sealed off the building to try to get him to turn himself in," he said.
This prompted a riot, Tobol said, with rioters throwing objects at police officers, who arrested everyone in the apartment until the stabber turned himself in.
Elad, another pilgrim who returned to Israel recently, said the incident sparked many rumors among the worshippers. "
A few Israelis were arrested, and some were released after paying bribes. There were all sorts of rumors, some saying the stabber died," he said.
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