Psychiatrists determine mother of drowned Haredi baby cannot be held accountable for actions

The mother of the month-old baby who drowned in an Ashdod hotel was deemed unfit for trial by court psychiatrists. The autopsy of the infant and subsequent investigation of his parents had previously sparked protests of dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews in several locations in the country.
Haredi protesters in Jerusalem (archive) Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

The mother of a baby who drowned last week in a hotel bathtub in Ashdod was deemed by court psychiatrists as unfit for trial. The ruling followed a week-long investigation that largely remained under a gag order.

The doctors attending the ultra-Orthodox mother concluded on Thursday that she could not be held accountable for the actions that led to the infant’s death.  Last week, the Israel Police requested a court-ordered postmortem to determine the cause of death, as the parents objected to the examination due to religious beliefs.

The child was brought to rest last Thursday after undergoing the autopsy, which sparked nationwide protests by Haredi groups. Dozens of protesters in Jerusalem blocked roads and damaged nearby vehicles while clashing with police forces. During the funeral, a group of Haredi protesters forcibly removed the deceased infant from an ambulance and brought him to the burial site in a private vehicle.

Family members speaking to reporters last week denounced the parents’ arrest and claimed they did not detect anything suspicious in the couple. “I know this family well," a relative told Hadashot News. "This is a very civilized family, everything was completely fine.” 



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