fetch (slurp) wrote in ontd_political,

Hurrah for religious crazies

Ultra-Orthodox, Jerusalem Court Reach Deal As Rioters Continue To Wreak Havoc

STEVE WEIZMAN | July 17, 2009 09:46 AM EST | AP

JERUSALEM — A judge in Jerusalem and leaders of the city's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community agreed Friday to a compromise aimed at ending days of rioting by religious protesters, Israeli police said.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said police agreed to release the woman into the custody of a local rabbi, on condition she undergo psychiatric evaluation and post bail of 400,000 shekels ($100,000). She was also forbidden to see her other four children pending the outcome of tests, he added.

The compromise is expected to cool tempers somewhat ahead of the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown Friday.

But Rosenfeld said there will still be a large police presence in and around Jerusalem over the weekend in case of any escalation in violence.

Tensions between authorities and ultra-Orthodox Jews, who make up a third of Jerusalem's residents, have been high since voters replaced an ultra-Orthodox mayor with a secular candidate in a November election.

In recent weeks, ultra-Orthodox Jews and authorities have clashed repeatedly over a decision by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat to open a municipal parking lot on the Sabbath. Ultra-Orthodox Jews oppose the idea because driving is forbidden on the Sabbath.

Police and ultra-Orthodox protesters have clashed nightly since Tuesday, and smoldering trash cans and broken glass still littered Jerusalem streets Friday after overnight battles.

The clashes have been the city's worst in years, with security forces armed with water cannon and backed by mounted units battling through the night against protesters hurling bricks and bottles and blocking main thoroughfares with piles of garbage.

"We don't have weapons, we don't have tanks, we don't have policemen or jails," Shmuel Pappenheim, a spokesman for the protesters, told Israel's Army Radio Friday. "But we are sending in our army to save a family, to save a Jewish mother who is raising five children with love and warmth."

Rosenfeld told The Associated Press that 18 police officers were injured and 50 protesters were arrested during the overnight street battles and extra police had been drafted into the city from other districts.

Hadassah Hospital, where her three-year-old son is recovering from malnutrition, says the mother suffers from a condition known as Munchausen syndrome by proxy, in which a person deliberately makes another sick.

The mother is suspected of denying her child food.

Jerusalem police chief Aharon Franco has said that the woman's family and lawyers have opposed a psychiatric evaluation, which has hampered her possible release this far.

During this week's disturbances, City Hall cut off municipal services to some ultra-Orthodox areas, mainly sanitation, after its workers were attacked.

It's Sunday and she still hasn't had the evaluation...

Tags: israel, jewish people

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