Rabbis call for Yisrael Valis' release

District Atty. won't decide on bail before receiving a psychiatric evaluation.

haredi riots 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2)
haredi riots 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2)
Jerusalem District Attorney Eli Abarbanel met with haredi leaders Sunday afternoon to discuss the possibility of releasing Yisrael Valis on bail. Valis was arrested on suspicion of killing his three-month-old son. Officials in the district attorney's office stressed that they would wait to decide on bail until they received a psychiatric evaluation on Valis. A previous meeting scheduled to take place between the district attorney and haredi leaders was cancelled following violent haredi protests over Valis' arrest Earlier Sunday, Jerusalem rabbis Shalom Elyashiv and Haim Kanievski released a halachic decree declaring that Valis was innocent. One of the rabbis, speaking to Israel Radio, said that the basis for the decree was that Valis' wife was still supporting him, and that if he had indeed killed his son, she would not be at his side still. Valis is facing manslaughter charges for beating his baby son to death. He allegedly hurled the boy against the wall after the infant started to cry, and is suspected of repeatedly biting, beating, pinching and punching the infant since his birth. Valis reportedly "did not accept him" due to a defect in the child's neck muscles, police said. Extremist elements in the haredi community had previously threatened to riot and to "make Jerusalem burn" if the alleged killer is not released from custody, even though police said that he has admitted beating his child. In a previous effort to ease tensions, rabbinical sages and Valis' family issued a statement two weeks ago calling on protesters to refrain from violence and from burning trash on the street. Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling said last Saturday that haredi riots over the last week have caused NIS 140,000 in damage, including the destruction of 30 city garbage bins.