JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Netanya man was arrested for murdering his three young children.
Itai Ben Dror was found Saturday morning in his apartment with the children; he reportedly attempted to commit suicide after allegedly committing the murders. The children — ages 10, 8 and 5 — were stabbed in their sleep.
Ramle District Court justices ordered Ben Dror to be held for 10 days and undergo a psychiatric evaluation. Ben Dror, who is divorced from the children’s mother and had them at his apartment as part of the custody agreement, said in court Sunday that he killed the children "to give them peace and quiet from their mother."
"Now they are in heaven waiting for me there," he also said.
Welfare authorities recently had granted Ben Dror unsupervised visits with the children on the recommendation of a psychiatrist, according to reports.
Ben Dror reportedly told police that the murders, which occurred on his ex-wife’s birthday, were premeditated.
His ex-wife, Lilach, said Sunday that Ben Dror was not mentally ill, as some news outlets had begun to speculate. In a radio interview she called him "manipulative."