'Taliban Mother' Convicted of Child Abuse

An ultra-Orthodox mother of 12 was convicted of severe child abuse and aggravated assault in the Jerusalem District Court yesterday.

The Beit Shemesh woman was charged in April 2008 for allegedly beating her children with belts, sticks and electric wire. She belongs to a local sect whose members cover themselves from head-to-toe in black in the name of modesty, thus earning her the nickname "Taliban mom" in the media.

According to the indictment, the mother tied up one child, stomped on another's feet, cut a daughter's hair as punishment, and extinguished a march on another's chest. She was also suspected of waking her children by dumping cold water on them and habitually locking them out of the house.

The woman's husband was convicted of assisting the abuse and failing to report it to police.

Her 27-year-old son is still under investigation for allegedly sexually abusing his sisters.