Saying that they have nothing to hide, the Israel government has published online over 210,000 documents that may finally let parents and researchers know what happened to their children in the early days of the government’s formation. At that time, over 1,000 children were taken from their parents by the government. Many children and parents have demanded answers for years. They are thankful for the release of the documents although many personally identifying details have been blacked out.
Who are the Yemenite Missing Children?
Most of the Yemenite missing children were under three years old. Hospital officials took many of them shortly after their births while telling the parents that the baby had died. Other times, government workers went into tent camps where many new refugees to Israel were living and took babies telling the parent that they would help take care of the child because a tent was no place for a child to live.
Only when parents asked about their child were they told that the infant had died. The parents never received a death certificate or any type of written record of the death. If they inquired about giving their child a funeral, they were told that the government took care of it in the parent’s absence.
Adding mystery to the children’s disappearances, most of the parents received a recruitment order from the Israel Defense Forces when the child reached the right age.
Most parents never accepted the answers given to them by the government. Over the years, the government has held four inquiry committees. The results from most of these committees have always been put into doubt.
After Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu came into office, the government also discovered that many children tracing their roots to Ashkenazi disappeared at the same time.
What Happened to the Yemenite Missing Children?
Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu ordered the documents released saying:
“We don’t know what the fate was of the Yemenite children. Close to 60 years people have not know of the fate of their children. We are not prepared for this to continue which is why we decided on transparency and justice.”
Many are surprised that Prime Minister Netanyahu made the decision to release the documents now. The last inquiry into the issue occurred in 2001. It sealed all the documents until 2071. The government still maintains that government authorities were not behind the disappearances. Some experts suggest that Netanyahu is trying to send a strong message to the United Nations that he is ready for the truth to come out on many issues.
The released documents include over 3,500 case files. In many cases, the decision to release the documents gives the children and their parents access to photos, birth certificates, hospital records, death certificates, and personal testimonies.
The overwhelming opinion is that the children were put up for adoption by the government to help pay for expenses. The government believed that richer European Jews could give the children a better life than people living in tents. It would appear when examining the records that many of the children died at a young age before being adopted.
The government is also creating a DNA bank. Therefore, survivors may finally be able to locate their surviving relatives.
Thousands of children disappeared in Israel beginning in 1948 when the government was new. Most of these children were taken from poorer families who were told that their children died. Israel Prime Minister Netanyahu says that his government has nothing to hide. Therefore, his government has released many documents and is setting up a DNA bank to let people reconnect.