Suspicion: Staff hit the children, and threw them on mattresses

Five childcare workers arrested on suspicion of abuse. 'It was natural that we brought our twins there, we trusted her,' father says.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Preschool (illustrative)
Preschool (illustrative)
iStock

A father of twins from the central city of Holon on Tuesday evening spoke about the suspicion that his children's childcare provider had been abusive towards the children in her care.

The father, who saw footage from the childcare center on Tuesday morning, told Ynet that his children were "stars in those videos."

"They throw them like sacks of potatoes. They step on one of the children so that he won't stand up, and covered him as if he were dead. What kind of person does such a thing?" The video clips also showed children being thrown on mattresses and hit.

So far, five female suspects have been arrested on suspicion of abuse, police said.

The father added that one of the suspects cared for his older son for over a year, and he trusted her.

"It was so natural that we brought our twins there," he said. "There was a bit of violent behavior but we thought it's just the behavior of twin boys, who smack each other a bit. We didn't pay attention to the outbursts of violence that suddenly started."

He added that he first saw the footage on Tuesday morning after they were sent to a group for the center's parents. Calling on the Knesset members and government to deal with the issue of child abuse,

"They're not waking up. The kids were hit," he screamed. "This is a budget issue? Take more money. However much you want. Put cameras, follow, have a supervisor. You want us to pay for the supervisor? We'll pay for her. Why abuse children? From incident to incident, at the end of the day it reaches you."

Parents of the center's children filed a complaint on Tuesday afternoon, submitting the footage of abuse against the children together with the official police complaint. Israel Police have said that the investigation is ongoing, and that five suspects have been arrested.

Ynet noted that in recent days, the parents collected footage from the security cameras placed in the center, restored files which had been erased from the footage, and saw the center's staff harming the children. In the footage, the women working in the center can be seen using force against the children, and in one instance one of the women can be seen throwing a child onto a mattress.

Attorney Adi Carmeli, who is representing the parents, said: "Again we are witness to difficult scenes of harming helpless children. I spoke this morning with the area's commanders and the [police] station, and we expect the police to act quickly and with determination."

The lead teacher's attorney, Sasi Gez, said: "My client denies all connection to the stated actions. The suspicions regarding abuse against of the children by some of the workers hit her like thunder on a clear day. She is a well-known and beloved teacher in her city of residence for twenty years already. She was never shown information, from any of the parents, regarding inappropriate behavior on the part of the center's workers. My client, who feels the parents' pain, has given Israel Police a detailed account in order to enable them to reach the truth."

Attorney Shai Shorer, who represents the assistants, said: "Any abuse of helpless individuals, and especially innocent young children, should be condemned. However, each case must be examined individually. From viewing the footage shown until now, it seems that we need to open a section in the women's prison for most of Israel's preschool teachers. There's nothing that you would not see or would not happen in any other preschool. The staff's behavior in this case is not pleasant, but at the same time did not cross the threshold into the criminal realm, in my opinion. We need to examine if this is just part of a trend, or if it is abuse."



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