Netanya man suspected of brutally murdering his 3 children

Children found with stab wounds across entire bodies; suspect attempted suicide 6 times, spent time in psychiatric hospital; family blames welfare authorities for not intervening.

Netanya Murder 311 (photo credit: Channel 10)
Netanya Murder 311
(photo credit: Channel 10)
A 38-year-old father is suspected of stabbing his three children to death Saturday morning in his Netanya home, in one of the most gruesome cases of family violence in the country's history.
The father, Itai Ben Dror, passed a message to his court-appointed attorney from his hospital bed on Saturday, in which he said "now my children have found peace."
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Israelis awoke Saturday to news of the shocking triple murder, after firemen broke into Ben Dror's house following a call by his father, who had spoken to his son moments earlier and feared that he may attempt suicide.
When they arrived at the scene, rescue personnel found Ben Dror in bed attempting to slit his wrists, next to the dead bodies of his three children Omer (10), Roni (8) and Or (5). All three children had suffered stab wounds across their entire bodies and had been covered with a blanket.
Ben Dror is believed to have put the children to bed and then stabbed them in their sleep. He then wrote several notes, with instructions for rescue personnel in case his suicide was successful. In one of the notes found by police on Saturday Ben Dror wrote that he and the children "will now finally be together in heaven. I will take you with me to the next world, where we will be together for eternity."
Ben Dror was lightly wounded by his suicide attempt and was taken to Netanya's Leonida Hospital for treatment.
Shock at the gruesome murder was followed by outrage at what many are saying was a failure on the part of welfare authorities, who allowed Ben Dror to maintain visitation rights with his children, in spite of his extensive record of psychological treatment and violent harassment of the children's mother, who celebrated her birthday the night before the murder.
Only two months ago, Ben Dror was discharged from a psychiatric hospital where he was hospitalized for several months for severe depression. On Sunday, police reported that Dror had tried to kill himself at least six times in the past.
Nonetheless, social workers in Kfar Yona, where the children lived with their mother Lilach, allowed Ben Dror to retain his unsupervised visitation rights with his children. Ben Dror managed to maintain his unsupervised visitation rights, in spite of four complaints of violence his ex-wife lodged with police. These were in addition to a similar complaint issued by a woman with whom Ben Dror had an affair during his marriage. The woman later took out a restraining order against Ben Dror.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharanovitch visited the scene of the crime on Saturday, as did Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Dudi Cohen, who called the murders "a very serious incident". Later Saturday, a special meeting was held by the central police district head decided to task the Central District branch of the special YAMAR investigation unit with the investigation.
On Sunday morning, Ben Dror will be taken under heavy police escort for a hearing at the Ramle Magistrate's Court, where police will seek an extension of his remand.