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The Yemeni Protocols Were Released Today

Today the horrifying protocols of what happened to the Yemini children were released. In the National Archive, thousands of dossiers and hundreds of thousands of documents deal with this dark episode of Israeli history.  

Today, (Wednesday) the National Archives in Israel after much public and media pressure, publicized 3,500 cases and 210,000 documents dealing with the Yemeni children that disappeared in the 1950’s in Israel. In the archive website you can find thousands of children whose cases were investigated and go into hundreds of personal dossiers to learn how the child died and where he’s buried.

Three committees were established to investigate the Yemeni Children. These committees checked out 1,033 cases and the Cohen-Kedmi committee concluded in 2001 that 972 babies died and the whereabouts of 52 remain unknown. The committee rejected claims that there was an officially organized kidnapping of children but did concede that at the time “there were random chance adoptions of children from hospitals and childrens homes”.

Yochanan Gamliel was 9 months old when he was taken to the hospital never to return. He is but one of thousands of cases whose pain is unbearable. His brother, Advocate Yossi Gamliel testified in the Knesset a half a year ago. “I received documents and my brother’s medical records of where he “passed away”. In the record it says, “Sent home” but he never made it to our home! Was he sent home? To whose house was he sent? Or was he sent to the graveyard?” Yossi asked.

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Copy of Yochanan Gamliel's death certificate

During the committee’s discussions Yossi wrote in pain:
My brother Yochanan, born in 1954 was 9 months old when he didn’t feel well and was hospitalized at Kaplan hospital. A few days later he was sent to Etanim hospital. When my parents visited they were told he died and they buried him. In the 50’s people didn’t ask too many questions. My parents went home and sat “Shiva” (seven days of mourning) for him. In the 60’s when they received a draft notice for him they began to have doubts.”

Yossi explained that his parents also received copies of the cemetery plot in Har Menuchot (a Jerusalem Cemetery) with section and plot numbers plus two death certificates for Yochanan. However a half a year later the Ministry of the Interior sent a letter that the death certificates were postponed. (Was his death also postponed?)

“After my father passed away we started to deal with this. We wanted to visit my brother’s grave on Har Menuchot. They told me this is his grave and someone else is buried there! So today there is no grave and neither is he home. Where is he?…”

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Copy of  Yochanan Gamliel's cemetery plot order

This morning when the protocols became public Yossi said; “this gives me some information but we still can’t find his grave. It’s quite possible he is alive. We will continue to keep on looking and try to find out what happened to my brother Yochanan. I hope the State will take responsibility and lead us on the path where we will one day know what happened to our brothers. Until today we have no idea what happened to them.”


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