• Sat. Sep 23rd, 2023

Court Orders Release of 4-year-old’s Body on Family’s Request

Aug 16, 2022

On Monday, the High Court of Justice accepted the request of the family and ordered the release of the body of the 4-year-old boy who had been allegedly strangled to death by his uncle.

The family had requested that his body be released without an autopsy for burial.

The petition

On Sunday night and Monday morning, ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods around Israel had seen violent protests after a ruling from a lower court.

The ruling had been in favor of the request of the state attorney to perform an autopsy of the little body who had been killed over the weekend by his uncle.

On Monday, the 4-year old’s parents had submitted a petition to the High Court to overturn the ruling of the Magistrate’s Court in Jerusalem.

This is because the parents believe that an autopsy would desecrate their son’s body and violate Jewish law, otherwise referred to as halacha.

The ZAKA emergency response service represented the family. The ultra-orthodox service deals with religious matters related to bodies and death.

The court said that they had heard the claims of both sides and had decided to accept the petition. According to ZAKA, the family was scheduled to do the burial on the same day.

The riots

The Haredi or ultra-Orthodox areas of Israel had seen violent riots break out after the initial ruling came out in favor of an autopsy.

A number of rabbis called the decision predatory, as it desecrated the deceased’s honor and called for protests against the ruling.

According to the police, hundreds of protestors had come together in Jerusalem’s Bar Ilan Street and Beit Shemesh’s Nahar Yarden Street and in Shabbat Square.

These protestors had gathered on Monday morning and Sunday night as well and all three locations had reported riots and clashes.

The police said that five arrests were made on Sunday and five on Monday as well. Photos from Jerusalem on Sunday showed that a police water cannon was used on the protestors.


According to Halacha, since the human body is considered sacred, there should be no tampering after death, which means no autopsies should be performed.

Instead, it urges that funerals be conducted as quickly as possible after a person’s death. The only exceptions are in the case of a murder, when a suspect has to be arrested.

Another exception is when the result of an autopsy could help in saving a life. In some cases, courts have previously overruled the families’ wishes.

As for this particular case, the 4-year old had been brought lifeless on Saturday night at the Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Even though he had been resuscitated, the hospital eventually pronounced him dead after hours of trying to save his life.

An initial police investigation revealed that the child had been unresponsive to the calls of family members on Saturday.

The door of a family member was locked and relatives broke into it to find the boy’s body with his neck covered in strangulation marks.

Police offers called on the crime scene arrested the 27-year old uncle.

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