By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News -
As the ultra-Orthodox community reels from the recent arrests of three members of a Hasidic cult on suspicion of involvement in a decades-old murder and disappearance, a new revelation about the identity of one of those arrested has added a new level of intriuge to the case.
According to Maariv, one of the Haredi men in his 60s who was arrested in Jerusalem on Sunday is the son of a former prominent Knesset member, who once served as a minister in the Israeli government.
While the name of the detained man is still under wraps, the revelation has sent shockwaves throughout the Haredi world and speculation as to his identity is rampant on social media.
While haredi MKs have been sidelined under the so-called change government run by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, ultra-Orthodox politicians have played a major role in Israeli politics for decades.
Lawmakers from Haredi parties have previously served in roles including Health Minister, Housing Minister, Religious Affairs Minister, Interior Minister, and as the largely symbolic Minister Without Portfolio.
Although there is a gag order on the case barring the publication of details about the investigation and the suspects, Channel 12 reported that the arrests are linked to the unsolved murder of Avraham Edri, whose body was found in the Ramot Forest in 1990, and the disappearance of Nissim Sheetrit in 1986.
Police have not specified how the three suspects, two men and a woman in their 60s, are believed to have been involved with the incidents.
But according to Channel 12, the three suspects were part of a so-called “Modesty Patrol” that operated in Jerusalem in the 1980s and 1990s.
The group would sometimes use violence to intimidate those who they felt were not adhering to religious norms in the public sphere, especially around issues such as Shabbat desecration, immodestly dressed women, and fraternization between unrelated men and women.
Image: deror_avi, CC BY-SA 3.0 <;, via Wikimedia Commons