Prosecutors informed the Eilat Magistrate’s Court on Thursday of their intention to indict a 64-year-old daycare teacher on 400 counts of abuse of the children who have been under her care.
A police investigation found that Ilana Kovar assaulted and abused 27 toddlers multiple times at a daycare center in Eilat, according to law enforcement
The parents of the 27 children were summoned to a police station in the southern city on Wednesday in order to identify their children from video footage collected by investigators.
Kobar was arrested last week and the court agreed on Thursday to extend her remand by an additional two weeks. Police said they were finishing up the gathering of evidence, including from several other teachers at the daycare who have been placed under house arrest.
When the parents of the children under Kovar’s care were summoned to the police station earlier this week, they were shown footage of the various incidents of abuse.
Parents told Channel 13 that in one clip, Kovar is seen picking up a child while she is sitting in a chair and slamming her to the ground repeatedly. In others, she is seen grabbing children by the shirt, pulling their hair, picking them up by the throat, throwing balls at their faces, spanking them and slapping them in order to wake them up from naps.
מסתמן כי יוקם אולפן פתוח לעזרת אילנה קובר הגננת מאילת, החשודה בהתעללות בתינוקות.
לאילנה תפרו תיק בפרקליטות.
מבקש להזכיר להורים הביביסטים מאילת שהיא רק חשודה. וגם אם יוגש כתב אישום, היא חפה מכל פשע עד פסק דין חלוט.
יש לשחררה מיד ממעצר, ואין למנוע ממנה להיות גננת ולטפל בילדים. pic.twitter.com/nLOmShk1Gw
— חֲנוֹךְ ???? (@hanochgo) June 9, 2023
One mother told the network she was shown footage of Kovar changing one of the babies in the daycare and then taking the same wipe she used to wipe the baby’s bottom on the face of another child.
“This is a sick, sadistic woman who deserves to rot in prison until the day she dies,” the mother says, noting that Kovar’s assistants witnessed the abuse and went along with it.
Israel has seen several high-profile cases in which teachers at private daycares have been caught on film abusing children, sparking widespread anger and leading for calls for greater oversight.
Most notoriously, Carmel Mauda, the head of the Baby Love daycare in Rosh Ha’ayin, was sentenced in 2021 to 9.5 years in prison. Mauda was arrested after graphic footage showed her and others abusing children as young as three months old, leading to large protests. An arsonist later set fire to the Rosh Ha’ayin building that housed the daycare and Mauda’s home.
In 2019, a daycare center attendant was sentenced to 17 years in prison for smothering to death an 18-month-old girl under her care.