Israeli police on Thursday night prevented a secret wedding between two minors in the Haredi (Ultra-Orthodox) neighborhood of Mea Shearim, the Spokesperson for the Jerusalem Police reported.
After identifying the bride as a 13-year-old girl, the police suspect that she was the minor who had been reported missing by her father two months ago.
Police officers searched the Mea Shearim neighborhood following information about a clandestine wedding between two minors, arranged by their families, which was being held on the rooftop of a local building. The police acted to prevent the wedding from being held, and detained for questioning four minors, including the bride, 13, along with the bride’s mother and two other women. The age of the prospective groom was not released.
Police suspect, based on the details of her identity, that the minor bride was reported missing by her father about two months ago, and that her mother (see picture) had been hiding her until the date of the wedding.
The mother is being investigated for violating a legal order and other offenses and a report on the case has been sent to the welfare authorities. Now police are trying to identify the other women and minors in detention (see picture).
From the picture, it appears that the women are part of the extremist group that have been dubbed “The Taliban Women” and the “Burqa Cult” by other members of the Mea Shearim Haredi community, who have condemned their behavior. The women, who do not follow any mainstream Haredi authorities, cover themselves up from head to toe in black cloaks and have taken on other peculiar customs and behaviors.
Mea Shearim, established in 1874 as one of the earliest Jewish settlements outside the walls of the Old City, is home to a large community of Haredi Jews.