Will minors’ graves be dug up in search for missing Yemenite children?

By
July 6, 2017 17:27

Two weeks ago, hundreds of people protested in Jerusalem, claiming that the Yemenite children were systematically taken without their parents’ consent and given to Ashkenazi families.

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Members of Yemen's Jewish community

Yemenite Jews 311. (photo credit:REUTERS)

In light of the renewed investigation into the fate of immigrant children who went missing in the 1950s, Likud MK Nurit Koren has proposed legislation that would allow the graves of deceased minors suspected of being one of the missing kids to be dug up.

The bill is on the Ministerial Committee for Legislation’s agenda for Sunday.

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Koren is chairwoman of a Knesset committee on the renewed efforts to find out what happened to the children, most of whom were Yemenite. In 2016, the state declassified its archival material on the topic, but the issue continues to generate interest. Families found documents they had never seen before, but many also found contradictory information, or details that are different from those listed on the graves in which they were told their relatives were interred.

Two weeks ago, hundreds of people protested in Jerusalem, claiming that the Yemenite immigrant children were systematically taken without their parents’ consent and given to Ashkenazi families.

The bill’s stated purpose is “to allow the investigation of the truth about the death and burial place of minors from Yemen, the East and Balkans whose death notices were given to their families in the years 1948- 1970 without allowing them to identify and bury them.”

Should the measure pass, courts would be able to allow deceased minors to be exhumed in order to collect genetic material and find out whether the body belongs to a relative of the person initiating the process.

The request to the court must be submitted by someone claiming to be a relative of someone whose case was brought up by one of the three state investigations into the matter, and the court has to find that there is a reasonable possibility that the claim is true.

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