Jerusalem Post, August 10, 1999

Parents remanded for allegedly fracturing baby's limbs and skull
By Heidi J. Gleit

TEL AVIV (August 10) - The Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court yesterday remanded until Thursday a Bat Yam couple suspected of fracturing their four-month-old child's arm, leg and skull.

The couple was arrested late Sunday night after the woman, 28, took their son to the Wolfson Hospital emergency room, where he was treated for the injuries, according to police. The couple's other child, who is two, was put in the care of the municipal social and welfare services, who have been monitoring the family for the past two months. Police said that the little girl also appeared to have been beaten.

The couple denies that they abused their children, though the father said his wife had wanted to put the infant up for adoption and would punish the boy by spanking him. In court yesterday, they said the infant was injured when he fell off a bed last week and they had not taken him to the hospital at the time because he did not appear to have been injured.

Ami Ballin, head of Wolfson's pediatric department, said yesterday after looking at X-rays of the infant's skull that the injuries appeared to have been inflicted by someone, but that it is up to the police to determine whether the boy had been abused. He added that the infant is in "relatively good condition" and will not suffer any permanent damage. He has casts on his right arm and left leg.

Approximately two months ago, the couple brought their son to Wolfson because he had been vomiting, and doctors found that he was suffering from malnutrition and neglect, Ballin said. The parents were instructed on how to care for him and a municipal social worker was assigned to visit them twice a week. The infant appeared to have been doing well since then and has been gaining weight as he should, Ballin said.

"We had many meetings two months ago with a psychiatrist and social worker and the impression was that they could take care of him at home.... There was no suspicion that the parents would intentionally harm the child," he said, adding that one of their theories was that the parents simply did not know how to care for the infant.

The Bat Yam social and welfare department refused to comment.

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