JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Yoel Lahangahal, an 18-year-old yeshiva student and member of the Bnei Menashe community from the Galilee town of Nof Hagalil [formerly Upper Nazareth], was stabbed to death during the course of a birthday party brawl in the city of Kiryat Shmona on Thursday night. Police have arrested a 15-year-old resident of Hatzor Haglilit on suspicion of being involved in the stabbing.
Lahangahal had immigrated from India with his family less than a year ago and was studying at the Maalot Hesder yeshiva, which combines years of Torah study with army service.
Nof Hagalil mayor Ronen Plaut, said that “on Thursday, Yoel had assisted in building his parent’s sukka at their Nof Hagalil home. He was very happy and talked of his plans to enlist and serve in a combat unit. Nobody dreamed that the sukka would turn into a sukka of mourning.”
Yoel had later gone with a friend to attend the birthday party in Kiryat Shmona and during the course of a violent incident being investigated by police, he was badly injured and died on Friday morning.
Plaut added that “an entire life was cut down by a violent act which in my eyes in an act of terrorism. My heart is with the parents Gideon and Batsheva, their family and the entire Bnei Menashe community. May you know no more sorrow.”
Yoel was described by a friend as an “intelligent and serious boy” who had excelled in his studies at Maalot yeshiva.