JERUSALEM (JTA) – A Yemen appeals court sentenced a Jewish man’s killer to death on the same day that 16 Yemenite Jews arrived in Israel.
Abdul-Aziz al-Abdi was sentenced to death Sunday nearly three months after a lower court ruled that he was mentally unfit and ordered him to a psychiatric institution. The victim’s father had appealed the lower court ruling.
Al-Abdi, a retired Air Force pilot, shot Jewish teacher Moshe Yaish Nahari last December in a town north of the capital of Sana’a. Al-Abdi had told police that he had sent a message to Jews in the neighborhood that they should either convert to Islam or be killed.
Also Sunday, three families of Yemenite Jews landed at Ben Gurion International Airport to make aliyah under the auspices of the Jewish Agency.
The rescue of the 16 Jews comes after a family of 10 was brought to Israel by the Jewish Agency in March.
More than 250 Jews are living in Yemen. Following a spate of anti-Semitic attacks, as well as Nahari’s murder, the Yemeni government allocated buildings to relocate approximately 50 families to Sana’a.
The United Jewish Communities is working to bring 113 Yemenite Jews to resettle in Monsey, N.Y., and Lakewood, N.J. That has caused friction with the World Zionist Organization, which believes the refugees should be relocated to their ancestral homeland.
Some of the refugees say they prefer to go to the United States because they have close family members there, according to the UJC.