Photo courtesy of ZAKA Kiev
The Jewish community in Kiev, Ukraine, reported that a one of its members was brutally attacked on Saturday night and is in critical condition.
The community and believes the assault was an anti-Semitic hate crime.
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Yaakov Zilberman, director of the Jewish community in Kiev, told Ynet that Aharon Alexander, 25, who is a student in a local yeshiva, was last spotted by CCTVs as leaving the synagogue on Saturday night.
He was found on Sunday night, suffering from serious head injuries, believed to have been caused by glass bottles. He was rushed to a nearby hospital and is in critical condition."
Grim prognosis. Alexander (Photo: ZAKA Kiev)
"We were searching for him for an entire day and we eventually found him in what we know is a dangerous area, some 400 meters from the synagogue. Attacks by neo-Nazi groups have happened there before," Zilberman said.
He added that the community is seeking to fly Alexander for treatment in Israel, as local doctors gave him a grim prognosis.
"There's a sense of anger and some fear," he added. "This isn't the Passover we had in mind… We've warned against a rise in anti-Semitism here and about cases of verbal assaults."
The community believes the assault was racially motivated, but according to Zilberman, the police are reluctant to investigate the crime as an anti-Semitic one are trying to cover it up.
Ukraine's Chief Rabbi Moshe Asman told Ynet that, "We will not rest until the assailants are found and brought to justice."
The Jewish community in Kiev has reportedly alerted authorities to a group of skinheads that have made threats against its members.
Community members noted that they try not to sport any traditional Jewish garment, such as yarmulkes, when walking Kiev's streets.
The CCTV footage of Alexander prior to the assault shows him wearing his yarmulke upon leaving the synagogue, and according to Zilberman, it is likely that is why the assailants targeted him.
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