Israel investigating 'illegal medical experiments' on Yemenite children, as mysterious decades old case re-emerges

Israel investigating 'illegal medical experiments' on Yemenite children, as mysterious decades old case re-emerges
2 min read
22 Jun, 2017
A 20-year-old case investigating more than 1,000 Jewish Yemeni children who migrated to Israel has re-emerged, after Israeli media published images and doctors' testimonies last week.
Activists accuse Israel of abducting Yemenite children [File Photo: Getty]

Images and testimonies from doctors who allegedly performed unauthorised medical tests on Yemenite children who went missing shortly after the creation of Israel have been published by Israeli media, prompting questions into the mysterious case.

The 20-year-old allegations were presented to a special committee that has been investigating the case that involves more than 1,000 children from Yemen, who were illegally experimented on for research purposes, the testimonies allege.

“In the very place they should have been protected, the children disappeared," Nurit Koren, chairwoman for the Knesset Special Committee on the Disappearance of Children from Yemen, the East and the Balkans, said.

“Some of the children disappeared and their parents never received a death certificate, they were informed only that their children had died.” Koren revealed. “Although they asked to see the bodies, they got nothing and could not hold funerals.

Three committees have been appointed to investigate the case of the missing Yemenite children, including the Bahlul-Minkowski Committee (1967), the Shalgi Committee (1988) and the Kahane-Kedmi State Investigation Committee, which was appointed in January 1995 and submitted a comprehensive report in 2001.

While all investigations have so far pointed to a lack of evidence, the latest developments involve the release of images showing naked Yemenite children with visible stitching across their bodies, adding weight to a case which has so far been dismissed by Israel.

“It is increasingly apparent that the bodies of the children were used for research,” Koren revealed.

Yemenite activists have charged that hundreds of babies declared dead by doctors were actually abducted for adoption by European Jewish couples since a wave of Yemenite Jewish emigration to the newly created state of Israel in around 1950.

They say the babies went missing from camps set up to host Yemenites along with Jews arriving from other Arab countries in the early 1950s.

Doctors at the camps told them their children had died, but refused to hand over the bodies or death certificates.

Activists and family members believe up to several thousand babies were taken in the years after Israel was founded in 1948, mainly from Jewish Yemenite families, but also from immigrants of other Arab or Balkan nations.

Official inquiries have found that most of the missing babies had died, pointing out the poor conditions in reception camps for the immigrants.