Photo: Gil Yohanan
The mother at one of the previous hearings
Photo: Gil Yohanan

'Starving mother', kids ruled out of Mea Shearim

Following two weeks of discussing mother's conditions of arrest, Judge Ravid agrees to allow her to remain on house arrest and not to separate her from her children, but rules that they must remain outside of haredi neighborhood and must be under 24-hour surveillance. Mother obligated to undergo psychiatric treatment

Jerusalem District Court Judge Moshe Ravid ruled Tuesday that the mother from Mea Shearim suspected of starving her toddler son will remain under house arrest and will not be separated from her children. Judge Ravid, however, ruled that she and her children must remain outside of the Jerusalem haredi neighborhood and that they will be under 24-hour surveillance.


The mother's legal counsel noted that "this is a humane and understandable decision" after waves of violent protest erupted in the ultra-Orthodox community in Jerusalem following the woman's arrest.


The judge also ruled that if the woman fails to provide the court with the exact address at which she and her family will be living, she will be detained until the end of the legal proceedings against her. It was also ruled that she will be obligated to undergo psychiatric treatment and to allow regular medical supervision of her children.


Since being released to house arrest more than a month ago, the mother has been staying at her house in the Mea Shearim neighborhood together with her children. The toddler she is suspected of abusing is staying with a relative.


The prosecution has made repeated demands to return the woman to police custody, or to at least remove her from Mea Shearim and separate her from the rest of the her children after a judge on the case ruled that there is significant concern that she may be dangerous to them.


Discussions of the conditions of the woman's arrest continued for quite some time. They reached a dead end two weeks ago when the probation services announced that it failed a third time to evaluate the mother. Probation services said it was unable to evaluate options for her detainment due to her lack of cooperation with authorities.


In this same hearing, the judge said that he would consider the defense's suggestion that the mother stay in a house with her children under the surveillance of four women, but only on the condition that Welfare Bureau employees be allowed to enter Mea Shearim to supervise the goings-on in the mother's house.


Once the story broke, Welfare Bureau employees were threatened by Mea Shearim residents and have been afraid of entering the neighborhood ever since.


During one of the previous hearings, Rabbi Avraham Froelich, who is accompanying the mother, hinted that returning the mother to police custody would likely re-ignite haredi riots in Jerusalem.


The trial is slated to open on Monday after a two-week postponement granted at the mother's behest so that she could arrange legal representation for herself.


פרסום ראשון: 10.13.09, 14:12
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