Israel opens database with 200,000 declassified documents on painful Yemenite Children Affair

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu inaugurated an online database on Wednesday that gives the public full access to some 200,000 pages of declassified documents that the state hopes will help bring closure to the decades-long controversy known as the “Yemenite Children Affair.”

“Today we right a historic wrong,” Netanyahu said at a ceremony launching the database. “For close to 60 years people did not know the fate of their children, in a few minutes any person can access the pages containing all the information that the government of Israel has.”

This is “a brave and important act,” said Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi, who was tasked by the prime minister with overseeing an investigation into the affair and who gave the go-ahead for the declassification of the documents.

Since the 1950s, over 1,000 families — mostly immigrants from Yemen, but also dozens from the Balkans, North Africa and other Middle Eastern countries — have alleged their children were systematically kidnapped from Israeli hospitals and put up for adoption, sometimes abroad. The claims were generally dismissed by authorities...


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