In Wake of Riots, Jerusalem Mayor Halts City Services to Two Haredi Enclaves

By Jonathan Lis and Yair Ettinger (Haaretz) and Haaretz Service

Published July 15, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat ordered his municipality on Wednesday to halt all services to the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods of Geula and Mea Shearim. The move comes amid violent protests in those neighborhoods following the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox woman suspected of starving her 3-year-old son.

The services were halted in light of fear for the safety of municipality employees, as a Border Policeman policeman was hurt in one of the scuffles, when a rock was hurled at him by a protester. Fifteen rioters were arrested as the protests spread from Jerusalem to Beit Shemesh.

“The municipality regrets the inconvenience to residents of these neighborhoods who are not involved in the incidents occurring there at this time,” said a statement issued by the Jerusalem municipality spokesman. “We hope to renew the services soon.”

The protests over the arrest of the Jerusalem mother suspected of starving her toddler for months resumed Wednesday afternoon after having raged on Tuesday.

The 30-year-old woman, who is ultra-Orthodox and belongs to one of the most extreme sects in Jerusalem, was arrested for allegedly starving her three-year-old son over the course of two years, it was announced Tuesday. The boy, who weighs about seven kilograms, is hospitalized in serious condition.

Hundreds of people participated in the protest Wednesday by blocking traffic on Bar Ilan road by sitting in the middle of the road, while several others set fire to trash cans.

Flyers were disseminated in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods saying that the welfare authorities and the police were persecuting Haredi mothers with baseless allegations. Last week, 15 ultra-Orthodox students broke mirrors, computers and toys at the welfare offices in Jerusalem. They also tore out windows and plants. The door of one of the welfare offices was set on fire two days ago and it is believed to have been a retaliatory action over the mother’s arrest.

The woman is believed to be suffering from a condition called Munchausen by proxy syndrome. Sufferers of the syndrome pretend to be sick or intentionally inflicts illness on himself or others in order to get attention and compassion.

Doctors said Wednesday that the boy’s condition has consistently improved since the arrest of his mother. The arrest came after hidden cameras recorded the woman disconnecting her son’s feeding tube in his hospital room.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • "It’s the smell that hits me first — musty, almost sweet, emanating from the green felt that cradles each piece of silver cutlery in its own place." Only one week left to submit! Tell us the story of your family's Jewish heirloom.
  • Mazel tov to Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinsky!
  • If it's true, it's pretty terrifying news.
  • “My mom went to cook at the White House and all I got was this tiny piece of leftover raspberry ganache."
  • Planning on catching "Fading Gigolo" this weekend? Read our review.
  • A new initiative will spend $300 million a year towards strengthening Israel's relationship with the Diaspora. http://jd.fo/q3Iaj Is this money spent wisely?
  • Lusia Horowitz left pre-state Israel to fight fascism in Spain — and wound up being captured by the Nazis and sent to die at Auschwitz. Share her remarkable story — told in her letters.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.