Jerusalem Affairs: Mothers from hell

Three recent shocking cases of child abuse were committed by women against their own children.

By ETGAR LEFKOVITS
April 3, 2008 20:33
3 minute read.
Jerusalem Affairs: Mothers from hell

abuse mother 224.88. (photo credit: Channel 2)

One after another, within the course of an hour, the two women made their way to the Jerusalem court for their latest remand hearing. Both mothers of young children. Both accused of severely abusing their children. One a resident of Ramat Beit Shemesh; the second an American immigrant who resided in Jerusalem. The first came to to the court covered from head to toe in black clothing. Not even the judge's request to remove the veil from her face would be met, lest she have any interaction with members of the opposite sex. The second, who was more moderately dressed, covered her face with a Book of Psalms. The two back-to-back grisly child abuse cases, which came to light within weeks of each other, shook a country more used to dealing with Palestinian terror attacks or, on the domestic front, wives being abused by their husbands. The two women, who have been remanded in police custody through the duration of their trial, are accused of severely abusing their children. The Beit Shemesh woman, who has been dubbed the "Taliban Mother" because of her garb, is suspected of repeatedly beating and otherwise physically abusing six of her 12 children, giving them electric shocks and beating them with belts and sticks. According to the indictment, the woman also beat one of her daughters in the face with a rolling pin, and slammed her face into the marble kitchen countertop. She is also accused of forcing her children to sleep outside in a locked shed when she felt they had come home late, tying up her mentally impaired son for hours at a time and ignoring his cries for help, cutting her daughters' hair as punishment, and throwing water on her children to wake them up. Her physically and psychologically abused children committed incest when they were locked up in the shed, the charge sheet says. The woman's husband, who is under house arrest in the North, is suspected of knowing of and taking part in the abuse, though on a lesser scale than his wife. The close-knit extremist family managed to evade law enforcement officials - despite years of reports of neglect and violence - by repeatedly moving all over the country and refusing to cooperate with social workers, the police said. The Jerusalem woman, who is expected to be indicted on Sunday, is similarly accused of severe child abuse. According to police, several months ago her relations with her husband broke down, and he was forcibly removed from their Jerusalem residence by two men whom the couple had brought into their home to educate their children. The two men remain at large and are wanted by police. The mother told police that since they were unable to educate her children in the "standard" way because they were "mischievous," the two men "made corrections" in the children, a police representative told a Jerusalem court at a pre-trial hearing this week. The "corrections," which took place in the mother's presence, included beatings, tying up the children, shaking the children dozens of times, setting their fingers on fire, bathing them in hot and cold water and breaking their bones by beating them with hammers and blows, accord to the testimony of the police representative. Her three-year-old child remains hospitalized in critical condition with severe head injuries, and is likely to remain in a vegetative state. The children's father, who has been released from custody, was allowed by the court to pray at his child's hospital bedside in the presence of social workers. Then, as the two women were in court, when it seemed that every red line had been crossed by the two mothers a new case came to light: A 38-year-old mother of eight was arrested in Netivot on suspicion of having sex with two of her sons, eight and 11. The woman justified the act by saying she wanted to take revenge on her ex-husband.


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