Israeli police have arrested an American rabbi along with four other individuals who have been charged with running an illicit baby-trafficking ring that exploited mentally disabled mothers to illegally provide children to Orthodox Jewish families.
The Nazareth Magistrate’s Court made public the news that 44-year-old rabbi Shmuel Puretz has been charged with the heinous crime on Thursday. He heads a yeshiva and was a globalist businessman who split his time between the United States and Israel before his apprehension. He was arrested in February, but a gag order prevented the release of his charges to the public before this week.
Puretz and his alleged accomplices have been conditionally released pending their trials. Puretz is accused of targeting disabled women specifically from haredi Orthodox communities where he knew he could get a premium for their children. He would then send them to America to give birth, and give the babies to foster parents who then paid him a tidy sum. They reportedly received $100,000 to $150,000 in a “handling fee” for each child, making the trafficking operation very lucrative.
The alleged victims maintain that they were coerced or tricked into giving up their children, and the mentally infirmed were the focus of the scheme. One woman, mentioned in court documents only as “Yael,” claims that one of Puretz’s alleged accomplices, rabbi’s wife Rivka Segal, had possessed legal guardianship over her. Segal has reportedly been forced to pay $144,000 in restitution to Yael, although she still denies any wrongdoing.
Yael alleges that she was taken to New York City when she was eight months pregnant. She claims her baby boy was delivered via cesarean section, and then she signed documents under duress that she was unable to understand. Her baby was taken from her at that point, and given to an ultra-Orthodox couple.
Following the birth, Yael said she was held captive in a New York City home for months where she was forced to subside in a basement. Her passport and papers were taken from her, leaving her stranded.
Yael was eventually able to reach a contact in Israel who arranged for her to be returned to her home country, ending her perilous and traumatizing ordeal. Another alleged victim reported that her twin children were taken in a similar situation to what happened to Yael by the same trafficking operation.
Puretz, who is believed to be the mastermind of this illicit plot that has been operational since at least 2016, can be seen here:
לבקשת חדשות 13: הותר לפרסום שמו של אחד מהחשודים המרכזיים בפרשה בין-לאומית של סחר בבני אדם. שמואל פיוריץ, איש עסקים חרדי המתגורר בירושלים ובברוקלין, הוא החשוד שתיווך את עסקת הסחר בתינוק הנחקרת מאז שנת 2016 @ariela770 • לפרטי הפרשה >> https://t.co/qmcfGJhUOo pic.twitter.com/TmV0CS6zi9
— חדשות 13 (@newsisrael13) December 5, 2019
The American rabbi denies any involvement in the scheme, but faces many years in prison if he is convicted of these unfathomable charges of exploitation and human trafficking.
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Houston Police Allow Abortion Clinic to Operate Despite Texas Courts Ruling Them Non-Essential
On March 30th, a judge ruled that Texas abortion clinics could stay open. This ruling came a few days after the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, deemed abortion servies non-essential.
Since abortions are clearly elective surgeries, the ruling was overturned by a vote of 2-1 in the 5th circuit court of appeals on March 31st. Meaning, the governor’s order stands and abortion clinics must close until non-essential businesses are allowed to open back up.
This hasn’t stopped one abortion clinic in Houston from continuing to kill the unborn.
In a video released on April 1st, via the YouTube channel ‘ProofThatGodExists,’ an abortion clinic in Houston is shown to still be accepting clients.
A couple of pro-life activists are shown in the video standing outside the abortion clinic. Across the street is a police officer, with whom one of the activists eventually talks.
They tell the offiicer that the abortion offices are still seeing clients. The officer acknowledges their concerns and says, “we’ll take care of it.”
A few minutes later, the officer goes to talk to the pro-life activists. The officer informed the activists that he was just there to “keep the peace” and nothing else.
One of the activists again informed the officer of the situation, asking, “Do you know that it’s illegal for them to do abortions today?” The officer replied, “I’m not out here for that.”
The activist then reiterated that he was asking him not why he was there, but if he personally knew of the current order. He wanted to know if the officer was not enforcing because he didn’t know about the order or because his department was choosing to ignore it in this case.
The officer didn’t want to answer directly. So, he again said, “I’m not saying that what you’re saying is wrong…. But that’s not what I’m out here for. I’m out here to keep the peace….”
He then said, “Whoever you need to call to enforce what you’re asking me about…” He was interupted by the second activist, who challenged him, insisting, “When people are breaking the law, we call the police.”
The video continues on with many more women entering the clinic. Eventually the abortion doctor arrived to the clinic, as well.
It’s clear that the clinic is in direct violation of the order that declares abortion services non-essential. Why the Houston police aren’t enforcing the order as it pertains to this particular clinic is still unclear.
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