Yoseph and Masuda Betito

Testimony of Shoshanna Dahan, Avraham's sister:

My parents, Yosef and Masuda Betito, immigrated to Israel from Morocco in 1963 by ship. On the way to Israel, on the ship, my mother gave birth to twin boys: Avraham and Amram. We are nine brothers and sisters in total; I'm almost the youngest, only one little sister after me. Amram, Avraham's twin, died five years ago of heart problems. When Avraham and Amram were about ten months old, Avraham had a fever and our mother took him to Haemek Hospital in Afula. She was there with him for a few hours and said he was vital, active and laughing.

My mother wanted to take Avraham home because she had to breastfeed Amram. The hospital staff told her that Avraham was not going to be discharged and said she could go back home and send her husband to replace her. My mother insisted on taking Avraham home but the doctor insisted he stays in the hospital and sent her home without him. She went home to breastfeed Amram and my father drove to the hospital, arriving just a few hours after she left. When my father arrived at the hospital and asked to see Avraham he was told by the hospital staff that he had died. My father didn't believe what he heard. How did he die? How? He only had a fever, a few hours ago my wife was here and the child was vital and laughing.

When he asked to see his body he was told there was no such thing, in Israel when a child dies in a hospital, they said, we bury him. My parents had just immigrated to Israel and didn't yet know how to handle the institutions. My father didn't see a body and was not told where Avraham was buried. He returned home and, fearing of breaking my mother's heart, he told her that he did see Avraham's body and that he was dead. My mother was not calm all these years; she didn't believe Avraham was dead.

Before my father and mother passed away, there was a TV news piece about the kidnapping of Yemeni children. We immediately called each other, the whole family and went to sit with our parents. My father said to my mother that he could no longer bear the burden, and confessed that he had never seen Avraham's body, he said he didn’t want to break her heart. My mother was completely broken. It only reinforced what she had always known - that Avraham was kidnapped.

This is how we all felt and feel to this day. After we saw the article on TV about the abductions, my brother Moshe contacted a good friend of his who was a reporter in one of the local newspapers in our area. The two began investigating Avraham's disappearance for an article in a local newspaper. They checked Haemek Hospital in Afula but Avraham's death was not mentioned anywhere. His death certificate, which was issued retroactively by the Ministry of Interior in 1996, does not state the cause of death either, because there is no (other) reference to him dying.

Moshe also checked with Chevra Kadisha in Afula, assuming that if Avraham was hospitalized in the town then he might find a record or a grave. He went there and spoke to Chevra Kadisha representatives who told him that there is no record of Avraham as deceased and no grave. All out family is sure that Avraham was abducted and are doing everything we can to find any small lead or clue that will help us locate him. It is sad that both our parents and his twin brother passed away without receiving any answers.

How could he have died? How? He only had a fever, a few hours ago my wife was here and the child was vital and laughing.