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Woman, baby held at airport for days over suspicion she isn’t mother

Galit Nakash says she has pleaded for a DNA test but has been met with bureaucratic indifference

Galit Nakash at the Tel Aviv District Court, August 9, 2016. (Flash90)
Galit Nakash at the Tel Aviv District Court, August 9, 2016. (Flash90)

An Israeli woman and a baby she claims is her own have been held at Ben Gurion Airport since Saturday, with authorities saying they suspect the woman is attempting to smuggle a foreign child into the country and seeking the pair’s deportation.

Galit Nakash, 49, said she gave birth to the year-old baby in Sri Lanka and simply wants her child to be allowed into the country, Ynet reported.

The circumstances of Nakash’s journey to Sri Lanka and her return remain unclear. She has said only that traveling to the island nation was a mistake and that she was forced to leave it illegally in order to return to Israel.

Immigration officials said they fear Nakash may have abducted or bought the infant.

Galit Nakash and baby, August 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)
Galit Nakash and baby, August 2016 (Channel 2 screenshot)

The case will be brought before the Tel Aviv District Court on Tuesday. Nakash says she wishes to conduct DNA testing to prove she is the mother, but has come up against a wall of red tape and unreasonable bureaucratic demands, including that she return to Sri Lanka and conduct the tests there. She said she cannot return because she would be arrested.

“I came here to do the test. There isn’t an embassy in Sri Lanka for that,” Nakash told Army Radio on Monday. “I have been begging for DNA testing since landing here. They won’t allow it. I tell them, ‘Leave me here under arrest but take the test already.’ I’m begging them.”

Nakash’s attorney, Matan Hodorov, expressed hope that the court would allow testing to go forward and veto the state’s deportation bid.

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