Itay Ben Dror, who confessed to stabbing his three young children to death on Saturday, apparently lay next to their lifeless bodies for more than 10 hours.
During his interrogation, the father said the murders were premeditated, adding that he purposely chose to commit them on his ex-wife's birthday as an act of revenge after she refused to take him back.
The father told investigators he became even more determined to murder the children after learning that his ex-wife, Lilach, was planning to celebrate her birthday with her new boyfriend.
Police said it remains unclear whether the father drugged his children before murdering them at his apartment on Borochov Street in Netanya. The autopsies are expected to shed light on this issue, investigators said.
Ben Dror with his children (Reproduction photo: Ido Erez)
According to the investigation, the father appeared unusually calm when he picked up the children - Omer, 10, Roni, 8, and Or, 5 – from their mother's home in nearby Kfar Yona on Friday.
A dispute between Ben Dror, 38, and his wife broke when he began an affair with another woman. When Lilach learned of the affair, she demanded a divorce. As part of recent reconciliation attempts by the Kfar Yona welfare services, visitation arrangements were set allowing the children to spend the night at their father's apartment.
Tried to commit suicide
A police source told Ynet that after Itay separated from his lover, who also filed complaints against him and had a restraining order issued, he began attempting to get back together with Lilach.
Itay told police that Lilach had recently threatened to do everything in her power to prevent him from seeing their children. He said this was the motive behind the killing.
The father said that after murdering his children he tried to commit suicide by slashing his wrists and swallowing pills, but an examination conducted at Netanya's Laniado Hospital found no trace of any foreign substance in his blood.
The mother's family leveled harsh accusations at the Kfar Yona welfare services, but the welfare services blamed the Lev-Hasharon Mental Health Center in Pardesia.
In April, one of the health center's psychiatrists submitted an opinion saying Ben Dror's mental health "has been stable over the past few months. He began looking for work, has a good relationship with his family and his children are important to him. He is taking all of his medications. There is nothing that should prevent him from seeing his children."
Welfare services are in possession of two similar opinions that were submitted in March by psychiatrists at the health center.
Meanwhile, Welfare and Social Services Minister Isaac Herzog (Labor) has instructed the director general of his ministry, Nahum Itzkovich, to set up a commission of inquiry into the conduct of the welfare services in the murder case.
The Welfare Ministry reported, "The commission will include members from various disciplines, as well as officials who are not part of the Welfare Ministry." Commission recommendations will be submitted as soon as possible.
Meital Yasur-Beit Or contributed to the report
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