Tragedy on Bat Yam beach: A 42-year-old woman from Rishon Lezion is suspected of throwing her four-year-old son into the sea and drowning him.
A Magen David Adom doctor dispatched to the area Thursday night proclaimed the child dead. The police said that the woman's husband, who said she suffers from mental problems, reported that she went missing in the evening hours.
In her interrogation, the woman said she had planned to drown her son several days ago because he was "a burden".
The Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court extended her remand by 10 days.
The woman's lawyer, Attorney Tali Gotliv, told Ynet that "the suspect is mentally ill and believed that the solution for the child's problems was to cause his death, by committing suicide together."
According to the lawyer, "The suspect expressed her great grief for staying alive in order to deal with such a horrible disaster."
In a note found in the woman's purse, she had asked for her husband's forgiveness. "I love the child, but I don’t want to die with him," she wrote.
The police said they had not received previous reports on acts of violence in the family. The woman reenacted the event at the beach later in the night.
The woman's husband was also detained for questioning in an attempt to find out whether he was aware of the fact that the child was in danger. According to the father, he returned home at 11 pm and did not find his wife and son, leading him to believe that they had gone to a friend. When they failed to return, he called the police.
At around 1:30 am, Bat Yam residents reported seeing a woman throwing her son into the sea on a local beach and fleeing the area. The civilians alerted the police and began searching the water in an attempt to pull the child out.
Several minutes later, the child was located and an intensive care crew was dispatched to the area and attempted to resuscitate him.
Shlomi Katz, a member of the ZAKA voluntary organization, told Ynet, "I arrived at the beach in an ambulance. A man and a woman took us to the mother. I asked her where she threw the child. She mumbled unclear sentences, and then the police arrived. She described the area where she threw the child.
"We began searching and when we spotted the child, a young man and woman went into the water and additional forces arrived… The young man picked up the child and brought him to the beach, and we tried to resuscitate him for 45 minutes. An MDA doctor was eventually forces to proclaim him dead."
Police officer evacuates child's body from drowning area (Photo: Avi Cohen)
Yossi Yaakov, an 18-year-old Tel Aviv resident, who was one of the first to arrive at the beach, told Ynet, "We were at the beach and heard people yelling that a woman had thrown her child into the water. I saw an MDA person who told me, 'Let's go look for the child.'
"I began running towards the woman. She said she had killed her son, but refused to tell us where he was. We threatened to beat her if she doesn't tell us where she threw him. She said the child was in the water and pointed to that direction. I ran to the area with another girl and found him with his head in the water. I picked him up and took him to the beach. The policeman came and helped me pull him out."
Commander Israel Tal of the police's Ayalon District told Ynet that the police officers arrived at the area following a report on a woman throwing her son into the water.
"Police officers and civilians pulled him out of the water to the beach," he said. "An initial investigation reveals that the husband reported the wife's absence and that the woman is being treated for mental problems. In the morning we will decided whether she should undergo a mental check before her remand is extended."
ZAKA volunteer Shlomi Katz concluded by saying that "at first, the seemed serene and there were many people enjoying themselves, but when I saw the horror I was shocked and began thinking about my children, who are home in bed. My hands are still shaking from the thought that a four-year-old child was proclaimed dead."