A 39-year-old Safed resident was seriously injured yesterday when he was stabbed, allegedly by a former neighbor. The suspect, 29, said he committed the attack because the victim had sexually abused him during childhood. The court imposed a gag order on both men's identities.

The incident occurred at 6:20 A.M., when the victim left his home. The suspect was allegedly waiting for him outside and stabbed him as he went out to the street.

The suspect's brother said the suspect had collapsed the evening before and was examined at the psychiatric department of the city's Rebecca Sieff Hospital. He was given tranquilizers and a follow-up appointment with a psychiatrist and then released.

"For years, my brother has suffered from emotional problems," the suspect's brother said. "He was released from army service for unsuitability and was not able to hold down a job. Two years ago, he came to me and said he needed to speak to me confidentially. He revealed how our former neighbor, who is 10 years older than my brother, had abused him. The acts began when my brother was about seven and the neighbor was 17. My brother said [the neighbor] sexually assaulted him and, among other things, forced my brother to touch his sexual organ."

The brother added that about a year and a half ago, the suspect filed a complaint with the police against the former neighbor. However, he said, the police closed the file because the statute of limitations had expired.