Their father, a 38-year old man, was found lightly injured in his arms. He is currently suspected by police to have stabbed his children to death before attempting suicide.
Police say the father, Itay Ben Dror, was previously institutionalized at a psychiatric hospital. A copy of his ID card was found at the scene, with the words: "I'm insane" scribbled on it.
A Magen David Adom team took Ben Dror to the hospital while police launched an investigation. On the scene was also Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, who stressed the seriousness of the incident.
Father removed from scene of murders (Photo: Ido Erez)
The children, who reside with their mother in the nearby town of Kfar Yona, were spending the weekend with their father as per their custody agreement.
Police suspect the father put them to bed Friday night and, after they fell asleep, stabbed them to death and then covered them with blankets.
Paramedics who witnessed the gruesome sight said it appeared as though they were "sleeping peacefully" in the double bed in which they were found.
A first inspection of the bodies revealed that the children – two boys aged 10 and five, and an eight-year old girl – had been murdered a number of hours earlier.
Police records show that Ben Dror divorced the kids' mother after beginning an affair with another woman. She, however, ended the affair and obtained a restraining order against him after complaining that he was harrassing her.
Ynet has learned that Ben Dror tried to commit suicide in October, after the woman issued a restraining order against him.
Ben Dror was arrested after violating this order and brought before the court. He was then sent to a psychiatric institution, in which he was placed under police guard, and was released two months ago.
Neighbors told detectives that he had come to reside there six months ago, following his divorce. Some of them flung curses at him as he was removed from the house on a stretcher.
'The writing was on the wall'
After the incident, Galia Siboni, the children's mother's sister said, "We are dealing with a murderer, a sane murderer, don't let him try to act insane now."
In a statement to the press, the children's aunt also leveled harsh accusations at the Kfar Yona welfare services. "You want to know if he is a murderer? He is a murderer. The writing was on the wall," she said.
"The welfare services forced Lilach (the children's mother) to allow visitation with their father. They told her, 'he's perfectly fine, there's nothing wrong with him', and threatened that if she does not agree, the children will be taken from her."
A Kfar Yona Council source expressed deep sorrow over the crime and said, "Welfare service workers were intensively handling the case of the mother and the children. The children met with their father in coordination with the mental health bodies and under the supervision of a social worker.
"The children have recently been staying with the father with the mother's knowledge and consent. From the moment the tragedy was reported welfare service workers have been accompanying the mother."
- Follow Ynetnews on Facebook