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Parents jailed for abuse of 6-year-old including scalding her, tying her to bath

District Court hands Israeli stepfather prison term of 10 years, Palestinian mother gets 9; prosecutor hails step against child abuse, lauds neighbor who alerted police

The apartment building in the central Israeli city of Lod where police found a seven-year-old girl tied to a shower on August 12, 2019. (Screen capture Channel 12)
The apartment building in the central Israeli city of Lod where police found a six-year-old girl tied to a shower on August 12, 2019. (Screen capture Channel 12)

A man and woman were jailed for 10 and nine years respectively on Monday for the prolonged abuse of their daughter, aged 6 at the time the crimes were discovered, including scalding her with hot water and tying her to the bathtub.

The parents were given the prison sentences two years after their crimes were first discovered by police.

The Central District Court sentenced the Israeli stepfather of the girl to 10 years in prison. The girl’s mother, a West Bank Palestinian living in Israel, was sentenced to nine years.

The pair were also ordered to pay NIS 100,000 in compensation.

Court papers showed the injuries were inflicted on the child over a prolonged period and that she was harmed on multiple occasions, suffering wounds to all parts of her body at the family home in the central city of Lod.

Attorney Hind Nabelsi from the state prosecutor’s office said in a statement that the pair “cruelly and systematically harmed their daughter, in the place where she was supposed to feel protected.”

She said the sentences were “a further step to eradicate violence against children.”

Nabelsi praised the actions of a neighbor who first alerted police of the abuse.

“The alertness of the neighbor saved the girl and prevented the continuation of the abuse against her,” Nabelsi said.

The girl was apparently born in the West Bank and brought into Israel without being registered with authorities.

She was bathed in boiling water, imprisoned in her room or a small bathroom, and tied up with rope that caused her injuries, according to prosecutors.

In addition, the parents prevented their daughter from eating, did not provide her with proper medical care, and left her alone at home without responsible supervision.

On August 12, 2019, police arrived at the girl’s home after receiving complaints of persistent crying, according to Hebrew media reports at the time.

As they prepared to break down the door, the suspects arrived from an outing at the beach.

The father rushed to the bathroom in an apparent effort to untie his daughter before the officers saw her. However, the cops followed him and discovered the girl in bad physical shape.

She was tied by her hands, feet and neck to the bathtub with a thick rope that the officers had to use a knife to cut.

The girl was taken to a nearby hospital for a medical examination and doctors discovered signs of severe, long-term neglect and abuse. Those included missing toenails and burn marks, according to Hebrew media reports.

A search of the house found evidence tying the parents to their daughter’s abuse, police said. The father and mother were arrested on the spot and have remained behind bars since.

Both parents are on their second marriage, family members told Hebrew-language media at the time of the arrests. The father has 15 children — 12 with his first wife and three with his current one.

Family members surmised that the girl, who was not known to them, could be the mother’s eldest, born during her first marriage.

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