(October 23, 2019 / JNS) A 50-year-old Palestinian man who recently converted to Judaism was arbitrarily arrested by Palestinian Authority security forces two weeks ago and is still in custody, according to a Ynet report. The man claims to have been tortured by P.A. forces.
The man, a Hebron resident, was arrested on the eve of Yom Kippur while on a visit to a West Bank area under P.A. control to meet one of his nine children, who along with their mother are Muslims. He was dragged into a waiting vehicle by four men and then taken to a Hebron police station, where he was arrested, according to the report.
Various sources indicate, according to Ynet, that the man’s brother had filed a police complaint regarding an alleged assault several months ago; however, the man denies these allegations, claiming his brothers beat him and told him that he was not entitled to his share of the family inheritance due to his conversion.
As the man is a resident of the P.A., Israel’s Civil Administration has so far been unable to assist him, according to the report, though Hebron Jewish community leader Haim Perg is attempting to help him.
According to Perg, the man’s grandfather helped save 26 Jews during the 1929 Hebron massacre.
“As far as I’m concerned, he’s like my son, and I will shake up the world for somebody to come and save him,” Perg is quoted as saying.
According to Ynet, the man converted to Judaism on the eve of Rosh Hashanah last month through Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, who passed away on Monday, at a rabbinical court in Bnei Brak. He previously studied at Machon Meir Yeshiva in Jerusalem, an institution of religious learning associated with the Jewish settler movement.
Once the Chief Rabbinate of Israel recognizes the man’s conversion, he will be allowed to apply for an Israeli passport.
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