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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Nati Grossman, Haredi Newspaper Editor Assaulted

The senior editor of a daily ultra-Orthodox newspaper was assaulted late Thursday night outside his Jerusalem home in what is thought to be a politically motivated attack.

Witnesses said two men, one who appeared to be Haredi, and a second, whose face was covered, ambushed Hapeles editor in chief Nati Grossman. at the entrance of his home, in the capital's Bayit Vegan neighborhood.

Grossman was taken by ambulance to Hadassah University Hospital, Ein Karem, where he was treated for minor injuries to his face and hand.

He was discharged on Friday afternoon, before the start of Shabbat.

The police are investigating various leads, but in the Haredi community the assumption is that the assault is connected to internal battles within the United Torah Judaism political party.

Today's Hapeles will contain a harsh denunciation of the incident by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, a leading Haredi rabbi who is himself at the center of a dispute within the Lithuanian (non-Hasidic ) faction of UTJ.

Grossman is a senior member of Auerbach's conservative, Jerusalem-based group, which refuses to submit to the authority of Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman, who is based in Bnei Brak.

This group recently founded Hapeles, which Grossman joined this summer after being ousted from his long-held position as editor of the UTJ newspaper Yated Ne'eman. It also founded Netzah, a political party that threatens to take votes away from UTJ in next month's general election. Auerbach is expected to decide shortly whether to support Netzah.

Also in question is the battle to succeed Rabbi Yosef Shalo Elyashiv, the late leader of Israel's Lithuanian ultra-Orthodox community, who died in July at the age of 102.

The two main heirs apparent are Auerbach, 85, and Shteinman, 98.

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