Child abuse suspect to be put under house arrest

A 54-year-old woman suspected of severely abusing her 12 children will be released from police custody and placed under house arrest later this week. The Jerusalem Magistrate's Court on Sunday extended her remand by two days, and then ordered her to be placed under house arrest for the next 15 days. The woman was arrested last week in her Ramat Beit Shemesh home. On Sunday, a police representative said the woman would routinely tie her children to a pole and then give them electric shocks and beat them with belts and sticks when they failed to learn their Talmud lessons. The woman, who has said she was "educating" her children, told police she was simply re-enacting the biblical flogging story of Batsheva and Solomon, the police representative told the court. According to haredi media and a well-informed source in Beit Shemesh, the woman leads a sect of women who adhere to a dress code more stringent than that of the most extreme Muslim sects and a rigorous health food diet. The suspect again appeared in court Sunday covered from head to toe in black, and refused to speak in the presence of men. In a separate case, the court allowed the father of an abused child to visit his critically injured infant in a Jerusalem hospital in the presence of social workers. The child's mother, whose remand was extended by six days, remains in custody. More arrests are expected in that case.