Setting fire to dustbins (archives)
Photo: Shimon Bigelman

City suspends services to haredi neighborhoods

Barkat announces suspension of services after ultra-Orthodox protestors take to streets in defense of Neturei Karta mother accused of starving toddler son; mother refuses to cooperate in investigation

Dozens of ultra-Orthodox demonstrators torched garbage bins Wednesday in Jerusalem's Shabbat Square in protest against the arrest of the haredi mother accused of starving her three-year-old son.


Police arrived on the spot, and arrested 15 people. A Border Guard officer was injured by a stone thrown at him, and cars and buses were damaged.


Rioters have also taken to the streets in Beit Shemesh. Police are on location.  


Following the riots Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat ordered all city services to the Meah Shearim and Geola haredi neighborhoods suspended "in an attempt to prevent the threat posed to municipal employees in the area".


The Jerusalem Municipality said that the services will not be renewed "until such time that providing them will not entail risking human life." The mayor said he regretted the harm done to those who had not participated in the uprising, and that he hoped services would be renewed soon.

Mother suspected of starving toddler son
Neturei Karta member apparently suffering from Munchausen syndrome arrested after security cameras catch her disconnecting malnourished son from feeding tube; toddler's condition improving; Jerusalem welfare office set ablaze in protest of arrest
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The allegedly abusive mother whose detainment sparked the riots was arrested as she left welfare offices. She continues to refuse to cooperate with investigators.


The abuse affair, which was cleared for publication Tuesday, led to mass riots Tuesday in the capital as hundreds of haredi protestors took to the streets, burning trash bins on Bar-Ilan Street and at Shabbat Square.


The woman, who apparently suffers from Munchausen by proxy, allegedly abused her three-year-old son, refusing to feed him until his weight dipped to a mere 7 kilograms (about 15 pounds). The boy was transferred to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in February and has been there ever since.

Jerusalem protest (Photo: Gil Yohanan)


It was later revealed that the woman is a member of the Neturei Karta community. She has other children and is currently pregnant.


Police initially asked to arrest the mother at the hospital, but the hospital's management would not allow it. Following pressure from the police, welfare officials were compelled to hand over details of the time and place of the woman's next appointment at their offices. She was eventually detained during a meeting with a social worker.


Rioters broke into the welfare offices near the ultra-Orthodox Mea Shaarim neighborhood in Jerusalem on Sunday and proceeded to wreak havoc on the office, breaking things and shouting, "Nazis! We will burn you." On Monday, unknown rioters arrived at a different welfare office in the city and set one of its doors on fire.


פרסום ראשון: 07.15.09, 14:08
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