Four frum yidden, residents of Antwerp, were beaten with a metallic pipe and injured when a local Arab man attacked them in the city earlier this week.
The attack took place at 8:30pm Tuesday night. Two of the victims are among the well-known community figures, R’ Chaim Yitzchak Singer, a mashpia in the Antwerp Bobov Yeshiva, and noted askan, R’ Shmuel Avraham Friedman, who is affiliated with the Antwerp Belze Talmid Torah. The other victims, two yungerliet, have been identified as R’ Hershel Friedman, who is an employee of the talmid torah and the last victim, a young avreich of the community, R’ Shlomo Moskowitz.
Apparently, the Arab attacker assaulted the four on different streets, one at a time, somewhat leaving police confused, not realizing the four attacks were perpetrated by the same assailant. The attacker is described being about 25, carrying a very heavy large pipe, which he used to attack victims, “beating them mercilessly,” the reports indicate.
R’ Singer sustained a fractured arm/hand and was hospitalized. He underwent surgery on Wednesday to reduce the complicated fracture.
Some of the leaders of the local kehillah feel the attacker was motivated by a program aired about an hour earlier, showing a very anti-Israel propaganda film based on Operation Cast Lead. The area where the attacks occurred is home to a large Muslim population, an area that was abandoned by most Jewish residents. There is one Jewish area remaining in the predominately Muslim area, which is shrinking by the day.
Local Jewish leaders and the Shomrim organization are working to increase patrols for the Jewish community in the area.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)