A man was arrested late Wednesday night after admitting to stabbing his two children to death in order to spite his ex-wife in the central Israeli town of Yashresh.
Around midnight, the man walked into the police station in the nearby city of Ramle, and told officers that he had murdered his 14-year-old daughter and his 10-year-old son, who usually live with their mother in the United States.
The children had just arrived in Israel from the US earlier in the day. The mother and the children are dual US-Israeli citizens, and police informed the American embassy in Tel Aviv.
Emergency responders arrived at the man’s home and found two bodies with multiple stab wounds. Magen David Adom paramedics pronounced the two children dead at the scene.
The names of the victims and the suspect were not immediately released.
Town Secretary Meir Hindy told Israel Radio that that the man and his wife were divorced three years ago in a turbulent break-up. The father fought to keep his children in the country, but a court ruled that they could leave with their mother, provided they returned to Israel twice a year, a neighbor told Walla. They arrived in the country on Wednesday.
The man’s neighbor told Channel 10 that his mental health deteriorated after the court granted custody to the children’s mother.
“He fought for them in court and in the end the court ruled that the mother could take the children,” a neighbor told the station.
According to media reports, the father told police that he murdered the children “so that their mother’s life would be over.”
According to police, domestic violence complaints were lodged against the father in 2005 and 2009, before the couple divorced.