Kin of US Vice Presidential Candidate Shot Dead in Middle East Violence
A distant cousin of US Democratic vice presidential candidate Joseph Lieberman was found shot dead in the West Bank Sunday, a victim of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian wave of violence, according to Jewish leaders.
Hillel Lieberman, 37, a US citizen, had been living in the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh, and attended the Yeshiva College at a Jewish shrine, Joseph's Tomb, which was sacked by Palestinians over the weekend.
Family sources said Lieberman had set out on foot early Saturday, during the Jewish sabbath, but had never reached Nablus.
His body was discovered late Sunday night in a cave off the road between the settlement and Nablus. Israeli police official said he had been shot.
Jewish leaders here said Lieberman was a victim of the ongoing violence between Palestinians and Israelis.
"He heard they were attacking Joseph's Tomb. He went down to try to save the Torah scrolls," said Malcolm Hoenlein, executive vice chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.
The Yeshiva at Joseph's Tomb in Nablus had been a source of friction with Palestinians, who considered it a center for Jewish extremists.
Hillel Lieberman had lived in Israel for 13 years and had six children. He was the son of a prominent Brooklyn, NY-based rabbi, Zevulan Lieberman.
Hoenlein, who knows the family, said they had recently discovered they were "second or third" cousins of Joseph Lieberman, the US senator from Connecticut who is the running mate of presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore.
"He may be a distant relative, but (the senator) doesn't personally know him," said a spokesman for the Lieberman campaign late Saturday.
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