JERUSALEM POST, Jerusalem, Monday, October 9, 2006.

Wanted haredi extremists flee country


A group of haredi extremists suspected of being part of a pirate circumcision network that carried out illegal circumcisions on dozens of Russian teenagers in Jerusalem has fled the country and remains at large, police said Monday.

The haredi zealots allegedly performed the illicit circumcisions on the 16-17-year-old youths in a private city apartment in exchange for presents and without the consent of their parents.

The affair came to light after the mother of one of the teens discovered what had happened to her 16-year-old son and filed a complaint with police, Jerusalem police spokeswoman Sigal Toledo said.

Jerusalem police subsequently raided a city apartment where the suspects allegedly carried out the circumcisions, but the suspects had already fled the country, she said.

According to police, the alleged cell leaders would solicit teens, most of whom were Russian-born and had not undergone circumcision as babies, in schools outside of Jerusalem and cajole them into undertaking the operation in exchange for gifts.

They would then be driven to Jerusalem during the night for the operation.

The complainant gave police a copy of a videotape she found in her son's room, in which the whole illegal circumcision procedure was documented.

Police said the circumcisions were carried out in the apartment without basic sanitary conditions.

(File created 10 October 2006)