Protestors carried signs slamming Israel for the dark chapter in the nascent stages of the country's history, proclaiming "A land that kidnaps its children", "Kidnappers for the state" and "The child is dead, the tomb is empty."
At the conclusion of the demonstration, which was organized by the Amram NGO, protestors marched on the road in Kaplan Street and blocked oncoming traffic having received prior approval from the police. One of the protestors was detained for questioning.
Several protestors climbed atop a makeshift stage and read their families' accounts. During intermissions between readings protestors called on the government to fully uncover the protocols detailing the fates of the Yemenite children, thus bringing an end to an affair that took place from 1948 to 1954.
Chairman of the Opposition MK Yitzhak Herzog (Zionist Union) attended the protest to show solidarity with its cause.
"On the eve of Yom Kippur, when everyone is trying to atone for their sins and beg for forgiveness, this is an affair that demands apologies, and deep inquiry. As someone who has suggested reparations for the families, a decision shot down by the government, we should all demand the truth be uncovered for this generation so the wound can finally heal," Herzog declared.
MK Nurit Koren (Likud), chairwoman of the special committee to investigate the disappearance of the Yemenite, Middle Eastern and Balkan children, told protestors she was a proud Yemenite who had suffered the tragedies of the affair.
"I demanded to uncover the files that are still classified. My mother-in-law lost a sister and two brothers, so I feel your pain and don't want stalling. I'm sorry for the people assembled here not knowing what the committee has been doing, but I invite you to look at its materials, which are available online," she said.
Amram Chairman Shlomi Hatuka said holding the protest during the Ten Days of Repentance and just before Yom Kippur was intentional. "The State of Israel must answer to the thousands of Yemenite, Middle Eastern and Balkan families whose children were kidnapped by the Israeli establishment," he said.
"As far as we're concerned, the process starts by the state's recognition of the crime and apologizing to the families for the terrible wrong they have suffered. This demand, for immediate recognition and family reunification, especially in light of recent discoveries and time running out, is the heart of both this protest and our overall activities."