Relatives of a nine-month-old baby who died in 1974 were shocked o discover that someone has been using the grave to store power cables and cooking equipment.
The Tam family came to the Rosh Ha’ayin cemetery on October 7 to visit the grave of the family father, who died two years ago, and to also visit the grave of Nir Tam, their older brother, who died as an infant.
However, they found that the marble gravestone — a new one, installed by the family just two years ago — was loose. When they slid it aside, the baby’s grave was revealed to have become a storage space, relatives said on Tuesday.
A dirty frying pan was found inside, with pieces of fried onion, an oil bottle and a portable water heater, Nir’s sister, Inbal Tam Meshulam, wrote on Facebook last week.
“I wondered who is the person who comes and prepares meals for himself at the cemetery and hides this equipment inside a grave,” she wrote.
“If this isn’t desecrating the dead, what is?”
היום כשביקרתי בבית העלמין (אזכרה שנתיים לאבא שלי), ניגשתי עם אמא שלי לקבר הקטן של אחי הבכור שנפטר בגיל 9 חודשים…
Speaking on Tuesday with the Kan public radio, Tam Meshulam said: “When we came to the grave we bent down to lay a candle. I put my hand on the grave itself and the upper marble moved slightly.” She then removed the cover and discovered the items.
She and her mother went to a cemetery official to complain, but received no answers.
“It doesn’t matter how many years have passed [since Nir died], my mother was deeply offended. It is sad when your son’s grave it used as storage space,” she said.
The Tam family said it is considering filing a police complaint.
On Tuesday, after Hebrew-language media began reporting on the case, the cemetery’s director Shlomo Nahari told Channel 12 news he was heading to a police station to file a complaint himself.
“The burial society in Rosh Ha’ayin was horrified together with the family by the sight of the desecration of the grave of the baby Nir Tam,” the cemetery said in a statement. “Unfortunately, despite the existence of cameras at the cemetery, we are unable to continuously track every single gravestone.”
The cemetery added that it was trying to find out who the culprit was and would also glue the gravestone back on to prevent further abuse.
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