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6-year-old boy found dead after being forgotten for hours in a hot car

Former transportation minister Miri Regev attempts to blame her successor for the tragedy, but is met with opposition

A Magen David Adom ambulance service vehicle at scene where a 6-year-old boy was found lifeless in a hot car, in the southern Sdot Negev regional council, August 31, 2021. (Magen David Adom)
A Magen David Adom ambulance service vehicle at scene where a 6-year-old boy was found lifeless in a hot car, in the southern Sdot Negev regional council, August 31, 2021. (Magen David Adom)

A six-year-old boy died on Tuesday after being left for hours inside a car near the southern city of Netivot.

Magen David Adom paramedics who were called to the scene after receiving a report of “a child who spent extended time in a closed vehicle” said the boy had no vital signs and they were forced to pronounce his death.

The boy was found in the parking lot of the Sdot Negev’s Educational Center, adjacent to Netivot.

The boy was later identified as Meir Yisrael Ashush, a nephew of Likud MK Shlomo Karhi.

Police have opened an investigation into the incident. Ashush’s father was reported to be cooperating with investigators. Temperatures in Netivot on Tuesday reached around 33 degrees Celsius (91.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

Likud MK Miri Regev, the former transportation minister, attempted to blame her successor, Merav Michaeli of the Labor party, for Ashush’s death.

“Another child forgotten in a car who found his tragic end inside a boiling vehicle, another disaster that could have been prevented had Minister Merav Michaeli not pushed off the reform for preventing children being forgotten in cars,” Regev tweeted on Tuesday.

An illustrative file photo of an ambulance on August 23, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

New regulations proposed by Regev had been set to take effect this month requiring the installation of an electronic alarm system on a child car seat that automatically alerts parents if a child is left behind in the chair, but the Knesset delayed the rules last month, at Michaeli’s request, until March 2022.

Critics said that Regev had only greenlit a small number of systems for use under the regulation, rendering it particularly expensive and raising questions over the selection of the companies.

On Tuesday, multiple critics — including fellow opposition member Religious Zionism MK Bezalel Smotrich — pushed back against Regev’s claim that her proposal would have prevented this tragedy.

“Miri, it is indeed a painful tragedy,” tweeted Smotrich. “But even your reforms would not have prevented it, because this was a 6-year-old child and your regulations are only for those up to age 4.”

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