Tens of thousands of parents protest across Israel

After daycare owner charged with abusing 11 children, thousands protest across Israel, demanding reform.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Protest outside of Prime Minister's Residence
Protest outside of Prime Minister's Residence
Hezki Baruch

Tens of thousands of parents gathered at demonstrations across Israel to demand reform in Israel’s childcare system, including improved safeguards to prevent the abuse of young children at schools or daycare centers.

Ten thousand protesters rallied at Tel Aviv’s Azrieli Junction Sunday night, along with thousands more at 24 other demonstrations across the country, following the indictment of a daycare owner and operator.

Protesters blocked roads in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa, while police largely avoided confrontations with the protesters. Protesters reportedly lit a fire at the Azrieli Junction protest in Tel Aviv.

The demonstrators are demanding that preschools, nurseries, and daycare centers for children three and under be placed under the authority of the Education Ministry. Organizers of the protests have called for background checks for all care providers at preschools, nurseries, and daycare centers, increased punishments for child abusers, as well as increased use of security cameras in daycare facilities.

Earlier on Sunday, 25-year-old Carmel Mauda, a resident of the central Israeli city of Rosh Haayin, was indicted on 18 charges of child abuse, for a variety of cruel acts against children at her “Baby Love” daycare center, where children between the ages of three months to three years were cared for.

According to the indictment, Mauda abused children in a variety of ways, including forcing children to eat their own vomit, covering the children’s heads with a blanket and sitting on them to prevent movement; tying a minor’s hands using string for minutes to hours; picking up minors by forcefully grasping the arm; swinging them in the air and throwing them onto the floor; shaking babies; placing toddlers facing the wall, sometimes for several hours; whipping the minors with a diaper, slapping them, pinching and pulling toddlers' heads back, blocking their noses and mouths until breathing difficulties arose.