Jerusalem police raid homes of elderly at 3 a.m., blame ‘wrong addresses’
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Jerusalem police raid homes of elderly at 3 a.m., blame ‘wrong addresses’

Victims’ families say they were traumatized by ordeal, and have yet to receive an apology or compensation for damage

Illustrative photo of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem on October 13, 2016.  (Sebi Berens/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea Shearim in Jerusalem on October 13, 2016. (Sebi Berens/Flash90)

Police last week broke into the homes of several elderly Jerusalem residents in the middle of the night due to having the wrong addresses.

Officers in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim ultra-Orthodox neighborhood were apparently looking for an Amram Mintzberg, suspected of fraud offenses, but arrived at the homes of other Mintzberg families, the Haaretz newspaper reported.

Moshe Mintzberg said his mother heard loud banging at the door at 3 a.m. Monday.

“She wouldn’t open because I always warn her about it,” he said. “Not a minute later they pulled the door off its hinges, came in and asked if the man they were looking for was there. She said no and they said ‘Sorry, our mistake’ and left.”

Mintzberg said his mother had been traumatized and added that no one had apologized or offered compensation for the ruined door.

Some time later that night officers broke into another Mintzberg home in the neighborhood, the home of 71-year-old Rabbi Shlomo Mintzberg and his wife. They again broke down the door and began to search the premises.

Their son, Mordechai Mintzberg said his mother suffered from ill-health. “She was shivering…it was cruel.

“What if it’s a Cohen family next time? Will they break into 40 homes?” he said wryly.

Officers once again left after realizing they had the wrong address. The actual suspect turned himself in later that day.

Police in a statement did not apologize, saying officers were operating according to “addresses written on the arrest warrants issued by the courts, which later turned out to be wrong.”

They added that in any case of error victims would be “fully reimbursed,” and said the case was an outlier among the thousands of “accurate and highly successful” operations police conduct each year.

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