ZAKA founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav dies after year in coma

June 29, 2022 by TPS
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Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, founder and chairman of the ZAKA Search and Rescue organization and a high-profile Israeli figure, passed away Wednesday morning about a year after attempting suicide while facing allegations that he committed sex offences of various degrees against boys, girls, and women, over decades.

Yehuda Meshi Zahav        Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

In March 2021, an expose published by Haaretz claimed that Meshi-Zahav, 62, who has recently been nominated for the Israel Prize, “had a darker side,” and sexually assaulted boys, girls, and women taking advantage of his position for decades with the knowledge of others in the Ultra-Orthodox community.

The police announced they had launched an inquiry into the allegations and were reexamining an investigation that was closed in 2013 in which similar allegations were raised against Meshi-Zahav.

Meshi-Zahav denied the allegations and claimed they were a plot to defame him.

About a month after the publication of the expose, Meshi-Zahav attempted to take his own life. He was saved by emergency medical teams but remained in a coma. He finally died on Wednesday.


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