Yoel Lahangahal, an 18-year-old yeshiva student from the Galilee village of Nof Hagalil (formerly Upper Nazareth) and a member of the Bnei Menashe group, was fatally stabbed on Thursday night in Kiryat Shmona during a birthday party altercation.
The police have detained a 15-year-old Hatzor Haglilit resident on suspicion of participating in the stabbing.
Lahangahal was attending the Maalot Hesder yeshiva, which combines years of Torah study with active duty in the armed forces, and had recently come from India with his family.
The mayor of Nof Hagalil, Ronen Plaut, stated that Yoel helped build his parents’ sukka at their Nof Hagalil home on Thursday.
He expressed his excitement and plans to enlist and join a military unit. Nobody anticipated the sukka becoming a sukka of sadness.
Later, Yoel traveled to Kiryat Shmona to attend a birthday celebration with a friend. During a violent incident that the police were looking into, Yoel was seriously hurt and later passed away on Friday morning.
Plaut continued, “A complete life was taken by a violent act that, in my opinion, was an act of terrorism. The entire Bnei Menashe community, including Gideon and Batsheva’s parents, are in my thoughts and prayers. Please experience no more pain.
A friend of Yoel’s characterized him as a “bright and earnest child” who did well in school at Maalot yeshiva.