Israel has long been accused of nabbing babies from Yemenite immigrants in the 1940s and 1950s, but the new reportfrom the country's “oldest daily newspaper” details accounts of families from Europe who lost children in unusual circumstances in both Israeli hospitals and in British detention camps in Cyprus.
Many families never received death certificates or burial sites and others report having their children taken from their arms by nurses who told them they had too many.
Some parents even received military draft notices on their child’s 18th birthdays, indicating no death certificates were ever filed.
Since its publication last week, more than 100 others have come forward with testimonies, with 15 Ashkenazi Jewish families reporting they were told one of their twins "died" in various circumstances, but believe they were actually given away and may still be living.
Tzachi Hanegbi, minister for national security, admitted last month that hundreds of babies had been stolen. He was tasked with examining about 1.5 million pages of classified documents in the archives relating to previous investigations, but hasn’t been given access to everything including adoption records.
“I’m reading testimony of nurses, social workers and people who admitted the children to hospitals and a variety of people, each of whom saw a small piece of the puzzle,” he said. He will examine the material until October, when he will recommend the material be released.
Between 1,500-5,000 Yemenite, North African and Middle Eastern children were reported missing in the 1940s and 1950s.
Israel has conducted three previous commissions into the allegations over the years, which concluded the majority of the children died in hospital.
The third commission’s results were published in 2001 and a number of testimonies will be censored by the government until 2071.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu voiced his support for getting to the bottom of the missing Yemenite babies in June. “I think the time has come to find out what happened, and do justice,” he said in a video posted to his Facebook page, adding "as of this moment, I don’t know why it [the directive to seal the documents] exists.”