The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that two children kidnapped by their Israeli mother from their Swedish father are to return to Sweden with the latter this week, denying the mother's appeal of a similar verdict given by the Petah Tikvah District Court.
The court also permitted the father to request police assistance in retrieving his children.
The mother, an Israeli citizen, immigrated to Sweden 20 years ago. She met her children's father eight years ago and the two lived together without marrying. Their children were born and raised in Sweden.
During the past year the couple had been residing in Israel with their children. The father returned to Sweden in April of 2008, as agreed, following a leave of absence from his job. The couple had agreed that the children, aged five and seven, would finish out the school year and then follow their father.
The mother, a kindergarten teacher, claims she planned to leave Sweden altogether with her partner, but the court threw out her claim and accepted that of the father.
Judges determined that the mother had made all arrangements necessary for her children to obtain citizenship in Israel, without ever mentioning their father. She did not notify her place of employment in Sweden that she was leaving, nor did she inform the Swedish authorities.
The court also determined that when the mother visited Israel in 2006 she sought legal council as well as a place of employment.
Thus ends a year-long custody battle between the two. The father, M, told Ynet before the Supreme Court had announced its ruling, "I only want like to continue the way it was before. I hope their mother returns too. It will be good for them. They don't need fighting; they need parents, a mom and a dad."