German police say a man has been arrested in the Czech Republic on suspicion of killing an Israeli whose body was found in a ruined Berlin building last weekend.
Berlin police said the 28-year-old Albanian, whose name wasn’t released, was arrested Friday evening in Usti nad Labem, near the German border.
They say the Albanian met the victim, 22-year-old Yosi Damari, Hy”d, at a Berlin hostel where the Israeli had checked in on April 3, and suspect he carried out the killing the following day. They issued a European arrest warrant.
Rabbi Yehuda Teichtal told The Associated Press that Damari, was a “man in his early 20s who came to us during the day last Friday and didn’t have a place to sleep and didn’t have anything to eat.”
Teichtal, who is a community rabbi in Berlin and also the head of the Chabad Jewish Education Center in the city, said a fellow rabbi arranged a place to sleep for the man at a community center near Alexanderplatz — less than a kilometer from where the victim was found Sunday morning.
“We arranged everything for him, but then he didn’t show up again,” Teichtal said.
The Israeli Embassy said Damari contacted it the same day seeking help in contacting his family so that they could help him buy a plane ticket to Israel.
Police say the motive remains unclear. Germany will seek the suspect’s extradition.
Despite Germany’s past as home of the Nazis who organized the Holocaust of Europe’s Jews, Berlin has become a popular destination for Israeli tourists in recent years. Some 20,000 to 30,000 mostly young Israelis have moved to Berlin in the past few years.
In recent months, police have stepped up patrols around Alexanderplatz in an attempt to crack down on violent crime.