Many cases involving children murdered by a family member, such as that which
occurred on Monday when a single mother allegedly murdered her seven-and
five-year-old children in their Jerusalem apartment, could have been avoided had
the public system been better prepared, Dr. Yitzhak Kadman, executive
director of the Council for the Child, told the Jerusalem Post on
According to the Council, an average of six such murders took
place during the past decade.
Since the beginning of 2013, nine instances
have already occurred, not including cases of high negligence such as leaving
children in cars.
In about 86% of cases, the children are killed by one
or both parents.
“We have data that tells us that the number is four
times higher during July, August and the holidays,” Kadman said.
the children are at home for longer hours, there is more tension [and] more
“In all of these cases, we see a combination of problematic
personality and emotional issues with external triggers and difficult life
situations such as divorce, unemployment, aliya and more,” he
“Parents who abuse their child often have this assumption that
the child is a possession of theirs and, therefore, they could do whatever they
want with it.”
Kadman made it clear that although finger-pointing and
searching for a culprit when such tragedies occur is “not right,” certain public
services could be improved to better prevent such tragedies.
is that the system is focusing more on extinguishing fires than on preventing
them,” he told the Post.
“Yes, it is a matter of funds and budget, but it
also has to do with an overload in welfare services and the education system,
where it’s difficult to ask teachers to also be on the lookout for children’s
behavior and to pay attention to things like a kid wearing a long-sleeved Tshirt
in the summer to hide bruises.”
Kadman said that on the list of important
changes needed is the communication channels among the various institutions
dealing with child abuse.
“The information is blocked and doesn’t flow,
and in the meantime, things happen,” Kadman said.
“The state hasn’t
invested enough in educating the public on reporting abnormalities in treating
children,” he added.
Following Monday’s double murder, some of the
alleged culprit’s neighbors reported they had seen her punish her children by
locking them out of the apartment on the balcony for hours at a time, Kadman
told the Post.
During the summer, he continued, the mother was reported
to the municipality’s welfare services by someone who saw bruises on one of the
“If people had reported the first occurrence, welfare
services would have had an extra warning, another piece of the puzzle, and could
have treated the case differently,” he stated.
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