Baby declared dead day after Safed drowning incident

Latest fatality in spate of summer drownings is son of local Haredi council member in Kiryat Ye’arim

Illustrative photo of a swimming pool (AP/Hassan Ammar)
Illustrative photo of a swimming pool (AP/Hassan Ammar)

A baby boy was declared dead Thursday morning, a day after he was rescued from a near-drowning at a pool in Safed.

The child, said to be around a year old, was declared dead at Ziv Medical Center in the city.

He was brought there Wednesday in critical condition by first responders, who had attempted to revive him after he was pulled out of a pool at a Safed bed and breakfast.

Ultra-Orthodox media outlets identified the child as Yonatan Deutch, the son of Yehoshua Deutch, a member of the local council of Kiryat Ye’arim (Telz Stone) outside of Jerusalem, representing the Haredi Degel HaTorah faction.

A spate of deadly drownings has been seen in the past few months, often at private pools or unsupervised beaches without a lifeguard while Israelis vacation during the summer break.

Last month, a 5-year-old boy from Umm al-Fahm was declared dead after a drowning incident at the Nahal Kibbutzim stream near Beit She’an. An 18-year-old girl and her father drowned the same day.

According to figures released last week by the Magen David Adom ambulance service, 31 people in Israel died so far in drowning incidents this summer, out of close to 200 who had been treated for such injuries.

The National Council for the Child said earlier this year that 35 children died during the summer break of 2020, compared to 20 in 2019. Of those 35, 10 had died in drowning incidents.

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