TEL AVIV (Feb. 19)
Attempts by police to arrest the rabbi of Kommemiut settlement, near here, were thwarted today by the settlers who blocked the road to the rabbi’s home. Orders for the arrest of the rabbi were countermanded after the Minister for Religious Affairs, Zorach Warhaftig, intervened with the police authorities.
The rabbi was sought in connection with all-out efforts by the police to locate Yossele Schumacher, who was kidnaped from his parents two years ago by his grandfather, Nachman Shtarkes, because the latter feared he would not be brought up in a religious manner. Nine persons were arrested yesterday in various parts of the country in connection with the case.
Those arrested were arraigned in courts in Jerusalem, Ramla, Lydda, Beit Shemesh and at Kommemiut, where the boy was believed to have been held during the first weeks after he was taken from his parents. The nine persons were interrogated by the police in attempts to find the whereabouts of the Schumacher boy and ordered held for 15 days on suspicion of complicity in the kidnaping.
Police continued today searching a number of centers largely populated by religious persons. The grandfather of the kidnaped boy has been in jail for a lengthy period in efforts to get him to reveal the whereabouts of Yossele. Shlomo Shtarkes, the boy’s uncle, is presently under detention in England on a request by Israel for his extradition in connection with the case.