Fugitive Rabbi Extradited to Israel Rushed To Hospital During Remand Hearing

Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who was arrested upon landing in Israel on Tuesday after being extradited from South Africa, felt ill during a remand hearing later in the day and was taken to hospital.

Berland, the leader of the Shuvu Banim community, was arrested on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment, Israel Police said.

His extradition marks the end of an international saga that began when he fled Israel more than three years ago after he was suspected of a number of sex crimes against women, namely in his community.

The rabbi was at a hearing to discuss the extension of his remand at Ayalon Prison when he felt ill, and was subsequently taken to Assaf Harofeh Hospital.
His remand was extended by two days, and not seven days as police requested.

Berland’s followers planned to set up a protest camp until his release, but gave up on the idea following the short extension.

Earlier on Tuesday, police said that “After a continuous effort, the Israel Police arrested Rabbi Eliezer Berland, wanted for some time for investigation on suspicion of perpetrating sexual abuse and harassment.”

Police said Berland had left Israel in February 2013, while an investigation against him had been pending, and that they had made “intensive and continuous efforts to locate him and bring him to Israel so he could be questioned about the suspicions against him.

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