Protesters called on the state to formally recognize the abduction of Yemenite babies during the early years of Israel’s existence.

Wednesday's protest in Jerusalem

Wednesday’s protest in Jerusalem Photo credit: Ehud Amiton, TPS/Channel 2 News

Thousands gathered in Jerusalem on Wednesday to mark the awareness day for the Yemenite Children Affair, demanding justice for the families whose children were taken away from them as babies in the early years of Israel’s statehood.

At the end of 2016, after years of hard-fought battles, a series of classified protocols from the state’s inquiry commissions went public, reaffirming suspicions that hundreds of babies of Yemenite-born parents had been abducted by the state and given to Ashkenazi families.

Since then, an increasing number of Israeli government officials have joined the call for the state to formally recognize the affair and its extent.

MK Ayelet Shaked, Israel’s Justice Minister, tweeted on Tuesday that “the government needs to promote the awareness of this troubling affair thorough education and studies.”

“After years of ignoring and denial, it’s time to break the walls of silence,” said Meretz MK Michal Rozin during the protest in Jerusalem. “The tragedy of the abducted Yemenite children was a horrible crime.”