Daily Israel Report

Report: Brother in Jerusalem Family Poisoning Wakes Up

Yitzhak Gross, 5, reportedly opens his eyes and moves Saturday night, can respond to questions.
By Uzi Baruch, Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 1/26/2014, 8:06 AM / Last Update: 1/26/2014, 9:14 AM

Sign announcing funeral of Yael and Avigayil Gross, z"l.
Sign announcing funeral of Yael and Avigayil Gross, z"l.
Flash90

The two children who survived the horrific poisoning in Jerusalem Wednesday are still being treated in Petah Tikva's Schneider Medical Center. Michael, 7, and Yitzhak, 5, are in stable to serious condition. 

After a call for prayer for the boys went out Friday, good news has finally surfaced: according to close family member Shlomo Rein, Yitzhak has opened his eyes and is showing sings of movement. 

Yisrael Glick, another close family member, told Channel 2 that according to father Shimon Gross, Yitzhak awoke Saturday morning. The boy opened his eyes, lifted his head, and was able to respond to questions, according to the report. He seemed to be able to understand what was happening, as well - and asked his family to keep praying for him.

He then rested again, to preserve the stability of his condition, according to the report; Gross's heart is not yet functioning on its own. 

Michael, 7, is still in serious condition. The public has been urged to pray for the two young victims using their Hebrew names, Raphael Yitzchak Isaac ben [the son of] Michal, and Chaim Michael Shlomo ben Michal.

The family has stated that throughout the ordeal, the staff of the Schneider Medical Center has been excellent. "From the lowest nurse to the most senior official, they truly fulfill the phrase 'angels in white'," Glick stated. 

"The medical staff keeps saying, 'we'll do our part and you do yours,' meaning to pray and hope for the best," Glick continued. 

The Schneider medical staff released a statement saying that as of now, the boys are in stable condition, "without a significant change in their [medical] status." 

Wednesday's tragedy occurred after an exterminator left highly toxic materials - phosphine, the same agents used in Syria's chemical weapons - in the apartment's enclosed security room, also known as the "Mamad" or bomb shelter.

Apparently, the security room's seal was less effective than the storage requirements for the chemical require, and the poison spread throughout the apartment over several days.

The poison killed Yael Gross, 2, and Avigayil Gross, 4. 

Rescue officials at the scene were shocked to discover that the chemical's toxicity was the highest level on the spectrum. The exterminator has been arrested and an investigation has been launched.