Minister-without-portfolio Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) will be appointed to oversee a probe into whether the government should declassify documents linked to the so-called “Yemenite children affair,” Netanyahu tells Likud MK Nurit Koren.
Families from Yemenite and North African Jewish communities maintain the government systematically kidnapped their children from Israeli hospitals and put them up for adoption with the influx of immigration in the 1950s. Over the past several decades, the government has appointed three investigative committees to probe the case, with all concluding the majority of children died in the hospital and were buried without the families’ involvement. The last panel to probe the affair in 2001 reached similar conclusions, but sealed various testimonies from the probe in the state archive until 2071.
Recently, groups representing the families have urged the government to declassify the documents, arguing that if the several hundred children had indeed died, the government should have nothing to hide. Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked earlier this month said she would bring up the issue with Netanyahu, and a petition has been filed to the High Court.
Koren, who has also been spearheading efforts to have the documents declassified, meets with Netanyahu on the subject. Netanyahu, in response, says he will have Hanegbi investigate.