Sunday, April 16, 2006

Ultra-Orthodox protest arrest of man over death of his baby

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By Jonathan Lis and Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondents and Haaretz Service
April 15, 2006

Dozens of ultra-Orthodox residents of Jerusalem demonstrated Friday for the second consecutive day, to protest the arrest of an ultra-Orthodox man suspected of killing his baby son.

Protesters set trash cans ablaze Friday morning, blocking roads in the ultra-Orthodox Meah Shearim and Geula neighborhoods. They also threw garbage and rocks at passing cars and screamed "Nazis" at police officers.

The protesters dispersed Friday afternoon, and demonstrations are expected to resume on Saturday evening, after the Sabbath.

Five protesters were arrested Thursday.

Jerusalem municipality said Friday that the protesters have caused NIS 140,000 worth of damage.

Rabbinical sages issued a statement calling on the protesters to refrain from violence and from burning trash on the street.

Yisrael Vales, 19, has admitted to slamming his 3-month-old son Rephael against a wall and attacking him numerous times, saying the baby wouldn't let him sleep. Rephael died Monday.

The Jerusalem District Court extended Vales' remand after the baby died in the hospital. Police have asked that he be charged with manslaughter.

Members of the ultra-Orthodox community have demanded Vales' release and threatened riots if he is kept in custody, despite the fact that he admitted beating the child.

The ultra-Orthodox Kol Hai radio station quoted sources as saying that "Jerusalem would burn," if Vales was not released, and members of the ultra-Orthodox community have been disseminating flyers threatening riots.

The flyers call on the community to "unite and protest against this blood libel" and declares the arrest to be an "evil conspiracy" devised by the "evil regime" against the "dear gentle young man."



Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is wrong with this community?!! Why are they protecting a child abuser and murderer to this extent?? Is this a political/religious issue between Chareidim and Police? I am at a loss as to how to understand this.

April 17, 2006 11:17 AM  

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