Police said Thursday have they have arrested a foreign caregiver who tied her elderly wheelchair-bound charge to a fence outside a mall in Bnei Brak while she shopped inside.
The Filipina caregiver and the elderly Israeli woman were identified after a concerned passerby snapped a picture of the latter left outside in the intense summer heat, and posted it on social media. The image went viral in Israel, sparking outrage and allegations of abuse.
The police subsequently appealed to the public to come forward with any information on the identities of the caregiver and the woman in her charge.
The concerned passerby, Dikla Amram Cohen, told the media that she saw the elderly woman tied to the fence as she arrived at the city’s mall.
“When I returned [after shopping], she was still there,” Amram Cohen said. “I went to ask her if she need anything and whether I could get her some water, and I saw she was sweating profusely and could barely speak to me.”
פיליפינית קשרה את הגב' במשך יותר מ-40 דקות בחום הכבד בסמוך לקניון איילון. היא ננזפה לאחר שאותרה בחנות ספורט סמוכה. pic.twitter.com/eOsc2frzU7
— פוקסי (@Foxyfoxman) August 3, 2016
Cohen said that after she realized that the woman had been outside for at least 40 minutes in 32° C heat (nearly 100° F) heat, she went into a store and began asking shoppers who was responsible for her.
She eventually found the caregiver, who Amram Cohen said apologized before leaving in a hurry.
The incident invoked the ire of Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, who vowed to deport the foreign caregiver.
“This is inhumane and disgraceful behavior,” Deri said Wednesday after he saw the photos. He said he had instructed the Population, Immigration and Border Authority to locate the caregiver, revoke her Israeli work permit and deport her.
Filipinos constitute one of the largest groups of immigrant workers in Israel. Approximately 300,000 Filipinos currently reside and work in Israel, the vast majority of them employed as caregivers to the elderly.