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Israel News

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, former ZAKA head, attempts suicide

CM 22/04/2021

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Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, accused sex offender and former ZAKA head, attempted to commit suicide Thursday morning.Medical reports from Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem indicate that he is currently in critical condition, but doctors have managed to stabilize him.Emergency services evacuated him to the hospital after performing life saving treatment at the scene where he had attempted to hang himself.
Israeli police officers and paramedics are seen outside the house of the former Chairman Israel's Zaka rescue unit, Yehuda Meshi Zahav,in Givaat Zeev. (Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)Israeli police officers and paramedics are seen outside the house of the former Chairman Israel’s Zaka rescue unit, Yehuda Meshi Zahav,in Givaat Zeev. (Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90)

Meshi-Zahav, 59, had been accused of sexually assaulting women and children over a period of decades from his position of power, using tactics of fear and intimidation to silence his victims.
In March, a police investigation was officially launched, after an initial report opened a floodgate of abusive accusations against him, from men, women, and teenage boys and girls of all ages.Channel 12 was preparing an in-depth investigative article for the Thursday night news about the sexual assault allegations facing Meshi-Zahav when the news broke of his attempted suicide. Channel 12 told The Jerusalem Post that it has yet to make a decision as to whether or not it will run the program as planned.Rabbi Yuval Sherlow, head of the Ethics Center at the Tzohar Rabbinical Organization, called on Channel 12 to cancel the program in light of the recent developments in Meshi-Zahav’s condition.

“Investigations about injustices are an essential action designed to increase the moral path of society,” he said. “But the broadcast of Uvda (Fact) [on Channel 12] tonight while the person the interrogation is about is fighting for his life will be an immoral and insensitive step, and therefore should not be broadcast.”Following the investigation, he stepped down as head of the organization he had founded in 1989 and forfeited the Israel Prize he was set to receive this year.Two months prior in January, Meshi-Zahav lost his parents to the coronavirus, only one month after having lost his brother to the same disease.In January, Meshi-Zahav lost his father, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Meshi-Zahav, while still sitting shiva (the weeklong mourning period) for his mother Sara Zisl Meshi-Zahav, who had passed away only three days prior – all this within 30 days of the passing of his brother, Moshe.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call Israel’s Suicide Hotline at 1201 (dial 10 for English)
US: 1-800-273-8255
UK: 116-123

Sarah Ben-Nun contributed to this report. 

Source: Jerusalem Post

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