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Yemenite Parents Claim ‘stolen’ Children; Threaten with Demonstration

Several hundred parents of Yemenite origin called on the Government and “other involved institutions” last night to return to them 215 children they claimed were “stolen” from them when they arrived in Israel.

The Yemenite Jews, who have grouped themselves into a “Parents Association,” declared at a public meeting last night that they had “documentary and other evidence” to prove that at least 215 children were taken from Yemenite parents “without their knowledge and against their will.” They claimed that the children were placed in institutions or adopted by some families. They threatened to demonstrate in front of the new Knesset building at its inauguration on Tuesday if the children were not returned. The Ministry of Social Welfare denied any knowledge of such an affair.

The Yemenites charged that the children, mainly newborn infants, were taken from their parents on the pretense they were ill and sent to hospitals or nurseries. A spokesman for the parents asserted that “they were never returned to us and we were told they had died in the hospital. The bodies were not returned.”