No security

Dawood Yosuf Mousa, a local Jewish community leader, said that the Jews were worried about their lives if they return to their homes as security was not well provided there.

Mousa said: "We want to return to our homes, but local authorities haven't told us to return yet. If we return now, the followers of al-Huthi would slaughter us and kidnap our children.

"We can't protect ourselves, so we demand the president provide us with protection and security. We didn't react to the threatening letter, but, instead, we turned to the state for protection."

Mousa said that there were soldiers at the hotel for their protection, which seemed more secure than in their areas.

Warning letter

On January 10, Mousa was approached by four masked men who gave him a letter which warned that if the Jews do not leave within 10 days they would be abducted, killed and their property would be looted.

Part of the letter read: "After an accurate surveillance of the Jews who are residing in al-Haid [a location in al-Salem village], it has become clear to us that they have been acting to first and foremost serve global Zionism, which seeks to corrupt the people and distance them from their principles, their values, their morals, their religion and spread all kinds of vice in society."

Salem al-Wehaishi, deputy governor of Saada, said "the Jews are still in a hotel. They might come back to their homes in the days to come.

"Since they have received threats from supporters of al-Huthi, we will provide them with protection. We are investigating the case."

The hotel bill for the Jews is being paid for by a Yemeni Muslim businessman.

It is estimated that 200 Jews live in Yemen today in Saada and Amran provinces.

Fighters warned

In a related development, Yemen's president has warned al-Huthi's supporters who recently killed six soldiers, to surrender their weapons or face a showdown with security forces.
 
Ali Abdullah Saleh was reported on Monday as saying: "There is a special force ready to uproot them if they do not disband and put down their weapons as soon as possible. This operation would not take long.

"You [the fighters] have been forewarned."

Saleh accused "some countries" whom he refused to name of supplying al-Huthi's group weapons and financial support.