(JTA) — A leader of Yemen’s Jewish community was stabbed to death at a market in the capital of Sana’a.
The victim, who has been identified in media reports as Harun Yusuf Zindani or Aaron Joseph Zindani, 50, reportedly was stabbed in the neck and in his stomach. He died Tuesday.
His Muslim assailant accused him of casting a spell on him and ruining him, according to reports.
Some 200 to 300 Jews still live in Yemen, down from a one-time high of 60,000. Most live in Sana’a in government housing after being evacuated from other areas of Yemen over fear for their safety.
In a weekend interview with CNN Arabic, Yemen Chief Rabbi Yahia Youssef Moussa called on the country’s president to allow the Jewish community and other minority groups to have seats in the country’s parliament.
Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky said Tuesday that Zindani was murdered solely for being Jewish.
“We must do everything to protect the Jews of Yemen and Iran, and all the Jews of the world,” Sharansky said.
He was speaking at an event in Jerusalem for thousands of Jewish young adults from around the world who are in Israel as part of JAFI’s Masa Israel Journey.
A Yemenite Jew was killed in Yemen in December 2008 by a Muslim man who ordered Jews to convert or be killed. The killer was sentenced to death.