Fire in Sabbath Square
Photo: yoav Galai

Ultra-Orthodox riot over autopsy

(VIDEO) Hundreds of haredim riot in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Kiryat Ata in protest of autopsy carried out on body of a haredi woman who was apparently murdered in her Kiryat Ata apartment; protesters in Jerusalem block road, set fire to garbage cans

Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox rioted Tuesday in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Kiryat Ata in protest of an autopsy carried out on the body of a haredi woman who was found dead in her Kiryat Ata apartment at around midnight.


The woman, Frida Wiesel, was apparently murdered by burglars.


J’lem riots (Footage: Channel 2)
Using loudspeakers ultra-Orthodox in Jerusalem called on the haredi public to protest with “total devotion” against the autopsy.


Sabbath Square riots (Photo: Yoav Galai)  


Zaka, an organization responsible for the recovery and identification of body parts, attempted to convince police not to perform the autopsy, but as foul play was suspected detectives in charge of the case filed a request for a court warrant authorizing the autopsy.


The curt complied, and the autopsy was performed by the Institute of Forensic Medicine. According to Zaka officials, the autopsy was carried out in haste, thus preventing the organization an opportunity to appeal to the High Court on the matter.


Stones thrown at cars


Jerusalem’s Sabbath Square was closed to traffic after hundreds of haredim gathered at there and began setting fire to garbage cans. The protesters blocked the road and threw stones at passing cars.


Ultra-Orthodox men attacked a vehicle north of Jerusalem and threw tear gas on it, as riots in the area go on. The driver was rescued by the police.


The deceased haredi woman’s son-in-law is a well known figure in northern Israel due to his philanthropic activities, prompting scores of people to protest on his behalf.


Some 100 ultra-Orthodox protested outsides the Institute for Forensic Medicine in south Tel Aviv; they tried to break in through the institute gates and snatch the body, but police forces dispatched to the scene prevented their entrance; nine protesters were arrested in the incident.


The ultra-Orthodox community has traditionally opposed autopsies. According to several haredi sources, right-wing activists are attempting to increase tensions to steer the police’s focus away from Amona (illegal West Bank outpost).


“The slightest touch of a body causes great torment to the deceased person’s soul,” a yeshiva student explained, while a rabbi said that the Torah states that corpses should be treated with respect.


“Even the body of a man hanged in the square must be treated with respect,” the rabbi said.


“The problem is that during an autopsy parts of the body that are taken out are not buried; however, if the case involves disease or murder, then rabbis permit an autopsy.”


Police officials fail to understand the logic behind the riots.


“The court authorized the autopsy, so from our standpoint the legal aspect of the case was closed and the body was transferred to the Institute for Forensic Medicine, as the usual procedure dictates,” one official said.


The Institute for Forensic Medicine said in a statement, “the institute received a court order authorizing the autopsy and acted in accordance with it.


Ynet reporters contributed to the report 


פרסום ראשון: 01.31.06, 16:33
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