Man Charged With Violent Robbery of Holocaust Survivor

A Ramat Gan man was charged yesterday with the aggravated robbery of an 86-year-old woman and Holocaust survivor.

According to the indictment filed in the Tel Aviv District Court, Tomer Mishali, 28, ambushed the victim, who has not been named, after observing her withdraw NIS 7,000 in cash at the Bank Leumi branch on Masada Street in Ramat Gan at about 10:30 A.M. on May 12.

When she exited the bank Mishali allegedly approached her and asked her to accompany him to the nursing home where his father lived, in order to translate the older man's remarks from Polish to Hebrew. She agreed and began walking down the street with Mishali, according to the charge sheet.

At one point Mishali allegedly assaulted the woman and tried to grab her purse. When she resisted he twisted her arm, kicked her in the leg to make her fall, grabbed the envelope of cash and fled the scene.

Police identified the suspect using images from the bank's security cameras, and posted his picture on the Ynet Internet site with a request for the public's aid in locating him. A woman later called to say she had seen him in the area of Nahalat Binyamin Street in Tel Aviv.

Mishali was arrested on June 19, giving the arresting officers a false name, date of birth and identity number. He was also charged with falsifying his identity and interfering with a police officer in the line of duty.

The state is requesting that Mishali be held for the duration of trial, saying it was justified both because the robbery was "carefully planned in advance" and because his chosen victim was a weak, elderly, Holocaust survivor.