The father of a five-year-old girl found alone and tied up in the bathroom of her home in Lod denied Tuesday that he had any responsibility for the incident.
Police officers who broke into an apartment in the central city on Monday evening were met with a heartbreaking sight – the crying five-year-old girl tied up in the shower stall in the bathroom and left entirely alone.
Her parents, who are in their 30s and 40s were arrested. They were to appear at Rishon Lezion Magistrate's Court on Tuesday for a remand extension hearing.
The father told police that he had not tied her up and denied that she had been neglected, Ynet has learned.
He said he and his wife took their three other children to the beach and left the girl who was sleeping at home.
"At a certain point," the father said, "a friend called me to say he could hear her crying. I came home and saw the police."
The police said Monday that officers were dispatched to the address after neighbors reported hearing crying come from the apartment.
When the officers entered the home, they discovered the girl bound and alone. They had to cut the ropes binding her from her body.
She was in poor health and suffering from neglect, the police said.
The girl was taken to the nearby Assaf Harofeh Medical Center for treatment.
The girl does not have an Israeli identity numbner, making it likely that she was born in Palestinian Authority-controlled territory.
The lawyers for the parents, Shukri Abu Tabiq and Hai Uzan, said that their clients deny the accusations regarding their child.
"They say that when they left the home, the girl was sleeping in her room and two hours later a family friend called them to say he heard cries coming from the apartment," the lawyers said.
"The police who arrived at the apartment found the girl tied up with rope. There is no evidence that they are involved in what they have
According to studies conducted in Israel, one in five children in the country has been abused by an adult. According to the statistical yearbook of the Israel National Council for the Child, the number of children at risk has doubled since 2000, reaching approximately 444,000 in early 2017.
In 2017, social workers received approximately 48,000 new reports of at-risk minors, 72% of involving children harmed by a member of the family.
The NCC said: "The shocking case of the severely neglected five-year-old girl is not isolated. In Israel, there are too many children going through hell at home or in their immediate environs, many of whom cannot or are too afraid to ask for help.
"Preventing child abuse should be a national mission. The State of Israel must ensure that child protection systems operate optimally and provide child welfare services with the necessary resources and standards required by the scope of the phenomenon.
"The best way to help abused children is to prevent harm or its continuation, through vigilance and social responsibility both by professionals and the public at large. With people keeping their eyes and ears open and reporting incidents to the appropriate authorities, we can protect the children."