Four month old baby dies due to alleged negligence in South Tel Aviv migrant day care center

The death marks the fifth infant to die in South Tel Aviv during the past two months.

March 30, 2015 17:26
2 minute read.

Baby boy in sleeping on bed. (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)

A four-month-old baby died in a childcare center for foreign workers in south Tel Aviv on Monday.

The baby was brought to Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv where doctors declared his death, after the infant’s mother picked him up from daycare only to find him unresponsive.

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This death marks the fifth infant fatality in the past two months in foreign worker child care centers – dubbed “child warehouses” – in south Tel Aviv apparently due to overcrowding and negligence.

Tel Aviv police on Monday said they had detained a number of employees of the daycare for questioning on suspicion of negligence. They added that the employees were released on bond and were not charged with any crime, and that a decision on how to proceed will be made once police receive the results of an autopsy being carried out on the body.

On Friday, police questioned the employees of a different daycare for African migrant babies in south Tel Aviv, after a five-month-old girl died earlier in the day at her childcare center.

Police said that the family has refused to allow an autopsy and the cause of death is unclear, and that no one has been arrested, pending further investigation.

Mali Shtrigler, head of the department for daycare centers in the Economy Ministry told Army Radio that the problem at hand is that there is no law that allows for the enforcement of conditions in all childcare centers throughout the country.

“So long as there is no law I cannot direct my enforcement officers [to supervise the daycare centers], and this is not right, it is not equitable for the citizens of Israel,” she said. “I will direct my enforcement power to these places. Three quarters of Israel’s citizens are not in a supervised framework because the enforcement law did not pass, because every time there is someone who tries to knock the law down.”

The National Council for the Child released a statement on Monday condemning the lack supervision and enforcement among childcare centers.

“The infant mortality rate of innocent children in ‘child warehouses’ has already become an epidemic and yet the State of Israel across a variety of its ministries remains silent, paralyzed and [it] denies responsibility and turns its back,” it said in the statement. “A state that permits to hold children, whatever status they may be, in deplorable conditions unworthy for animals, let alone humans, is a country in disgrace not fit for the family of nations.”

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