The suspect
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Yakov Litzman
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Tzvika Tischler
'Inconceivable.' Aharonovitch
Tzvika Tischler

Mother suspected of starving toddler son remanded to house arrest

Jerusalem Magistrate's Court orders ultra-Orthodox woman suspected of starving three-year-old son be released to the custody of haredi lobbyist Avraham Froelich. Latter, Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman post bail, assurances

The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court remanded the haredi woman suspected of starving her three-year-old son, to house arrest Friday. She was released to the custody of haredi lobbyist Avraham Froelich.


Froelich and Deputy Health Minister Yakov Litzman posted the suspect's NIS 400,000 (some $102,400) bail, along with other court assurances.  


Litzman appeared before the court during the woman's arraignment and offered to have her stay with his family, should the court opt not to remand her to police custody. "I'm willing to take her in so to pacify the situation," said the United Torah Judaism chairman.

Jerusalem clashes: Police officers, rioters hurt / Efrat Weiss
Violence erupts again in Jerusalem Thursday night: Hundreds of ultra-Orthodox rioters clash with security forces, several police officers and protestors hurt; haredim attempt to block Highway 1, hurl stones, firecrackers at police
Full story


The State Prosecutor's Office had asked the court to remand the woman, who is a member of the Neturei Karta fringe faction, for an additional five days, informing the judge that it would be pressing criminal charges against her.


Nevertheless, said the prosecution, "Seeing how the suspect is five months pregnant, and providing a psychiatric evaluation and a Parole Service review will state that she poses no danger to others, the prosecution will recommend she be remanded to house arrest."


The prosecution also informed the court that following a meeting between representatives of the Jerusalem Prosecution and the capital's social services, a psychiatrist acceptable on both sides was appointed to the case.  


Justice Shulamit Dotan noted in her ruling that the fact that the social workers handling the case and members of the prosecution felt threatened by the suspect does not, by itself, merit her remand to police custody. 


The woman's arrest sparked massive unrest within the ultra-Orthodox community: Hundreds of haredi protestors clashed with police forces in Jerusalem and near Highway 1 on Thursday night, throwing stones at security forces. Eighteen police officers sustained mild wounds, as did six protestors. The police arrested 50 rioters.


The ultra-Orthodox community in the capital threatened to escalate the protest if the woman in not released from police custody, prompting the Jerusalem police, along with the Border Guard, to deploy mass forces throughout the city's haredi neighborhoods in an attempt to contain possible



Also Friday, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch urged the leaders of the haredi community in Jerusalem to act immediately to restore order and peace to the capital.


"Israel Police officers cannot come under attack. It is inconceivable that entire neighborhoods and highways will be blocked and that the City would have to suspend municipal service for fear for its employees' safety," he said. "The Police will continue to enforce the law and will prosecute rioters to the full extent of the law."  


Aviad Glickman, Roni Sofer and Efrat Weiss contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 07.17.09, 11:31
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