Three injured in protest of mother’s arrest

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Three people were injured during ongoing protests against the arrest of a fervently Orthodox mother who allegedly starved her son.

The protests entered a third day Thursday.

The injured include a municipal worker. On Thursday afternoon, the welfare bureau in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood was closed after protesters threw stones at the agency’s windows.

The pregnant mother of four, a member of the Neturei Karta sect, was arrested last week during a visit with a social worker at the welfare office. The arrest was announced Tuesday.

Her 3-year-old son had been admitted to a Jerusalem hospital in February weighing about 14 pounds. He remains in the hospital.

Isaac Herzog, the minister of Welfare and Social Services, on Thursday defended the arrest of the boy’s mother during an interview on Israel Radio.

"We all understand that what happened here was that a child was saved from the brink of death," he said.

A hidden camera in the hospital room showed the woman, who reportedly is suffering from a psychiatric disorder, detaching the boy’s feeding tube and pouring unknown substances into it, according to reports.

The protests began Tuesday night and continued on both Wednesday and Thursday. Several protesters, who set fire to trash cans and blocked the entrance to some roads, have been arrested.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Wednesday afternoon ordered a halt to all municipal services to several neighborhoods involved in the protests to protect the safety of municipal employees, Ha’aretz reported.

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