Israel Opens New Grave Connected to the Case of Disappeared Yemeni Children
i24 News – A new grave was opened Wednesday at the Nachalat Itzhak cemetery in Tel Aviv, in connection with the so-called “Yemeni children” case — the disappearance of mainly Yemenite babies and toddlers in 1950s Israel.
The opening of the alleged burial of Yossef Melamed was carried out at the request of the child’s family who hopes to solve the mystery of what happened, Walla News reported
According to the news site, Yossef Melamed was still a baby when his mother took him to Hadassah Hospital. The next day his death was announced, and medical personnel proceeded to bury him, the mother was told.
But a few years later, a letter was sent to the family announcing that after an investigation, it was discovered at the Ministry of the Interior that their son left the country in 1963 and is not dead.
The child’s mother, now in her 90s, still believes he is alive and not buried in the Nachalat Yitzhak cemetery — where the headstone with his name engraved on it is.
Now remains the hope of finding dental remains or traces of DNA to solve the mystery and shed light on what happened to Yossef Melamed.
The Institute of Forensic Medicine said the graves can only be opened in the summer and after examination of Yossef Melamed’s body, it will be decided whether or not to open eight more graves.
Last May, the remains of several bodies were found after lifting the tombstone from the burial of baby Uziel Houri, one of the Yemeni children believed to be abducted. The excavations have since been stopped in order to obtain a permit for examination by the court.
The case of the Yemeni children involves more than a thousand families, mainly from Yemen, the Balkans, and North Africa, and dates to the 1950s, shortly after the creation of the State of Israel.
The authorities reportedly announced the death of children during medical treatment, while they were allegedly abducted and entrusted to childless couples of European origins. Three commissions of inquiry were created, but no proof of institutionalized abduction could be provided.
In February 2021, the previous government adopted a plan to compensate families, who, however, urge the authorities to reveal confidential documents, deeming financial compensation to be the “price of silence.”