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Protesters urge Israel to admit abduction of Yemeni children

August 2, 2019 at 5:11 am

Jews of Aden, Yemen, awaiting evacuation to Israel on 1 November, 1949 [Twitter]

Israelis of Yemeni origin protested in front of the residences of both Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. They were urging Israel to recognise what they described as state-sponsored kidnapping of Yemeni children during the early years of the establishment of the state of Israel.

On Thursday, Haaretz said that about 200 people took part in the march, on Wednesday evening, near the residences of Rivlin and Netanyahu.

“The demonstrators carried posters displaying pictures of the children, and the dates when they claim, the children were kidnapped,” said the newspaper.

A government commission was assigned in 2001 to look into allegations of children disappearances. The commission later concluded that “there is no proof for the systematic abduction of Yemeni children.”

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According to the paper, “the committee and two previous committees concluded that most of the children died as a result of the disease.”

Families and legal experts questioned the performance and professionalism of the committee and the media that published a series of investigative reports about the issue.

In 2016, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “the issue of Yemeni children is an open wound that continues to bleed. Many families do not know the fate of the missing children and are looking for the truth.”

The demonstration was organised by Amram Foundation to mark, “a day of awareness-raising regarding hundreds or thousands of missing children born to Jewish immigrants from Yemen, other Middle Eastern countries and the Balkans.” Amram had cancelled a planned meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin when “[he] refused to call for official recognition of what the foundation described as an injustice to these communities,” Haaretz said.

Minorities usually complain in Israel about what they describe as “discrimination official Israeli institutions practised against them.”