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Kiev attack victim flown to Israel for treatment

(JTA) – The Jewish man attacked after he left a seder at a synagogue in Kiev will be flown to Israel for treatment.

The man, 25, identified as Aharon Alexander by Ynet and as Aharon Alexander Gorshonov by The Jerusalem Post, was found on Sunday night in an area near the synagogue where attacks by neo-Nazi groups have occurred in the past, nearly a full day after the attack, with serious head injuries believed to have been inflicted by glass bottles.

He was in critical condition in a Kiev hospital after surgery. He also had bruises on his upper body.

ZAKA announced that he would be flown to Israel on Tuesday night, accompanied by ZAKA volunteers and a special medical team that flew in earlier Tuesday from Israel. 

Local police are reluctant to investigate the attack as an anti-Semitic hate crime, Yaakov Zilberman, director of the Jewish community in Kiev, told Ynet. Police reportedly are looking into the possibility that the man tripped in the street, according to Haaretz.

Zilberman says he believes the man was targeted because he was wearing a yarmulke when he left the synagogue.

Israel’s ambassador to the Ukraine, Reuven Daniel, said at this point there is no way to determine whether the incident was motivated by racial hate and anti-Semitism, since the victim remains unconscious. Daniel urged the public not to jump to conclusions, Ynet reported Tuesday. 

European Jewish Congress President Moshe Kantor in a statement Monday called on Ukrainian officials to hunt down the attackers. He called them neo-Nazis.

“This attempted murder by neo-Nazis in Kiev, just weeks after the Islamist murders in Toulouse, by groups who have nothing in common except for a visceral hatred of Jews, is a phenomenon that European leaders have to stamp out now,” Kantor said. “We call on European leaders to act swiftly to strengthen legislation, bolster education and increase intelligence sharing to prevent what could become a tsunami of hate and violence against the Jews of Europe.”

 

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