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Three weeks later: Underage girl goes home

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Three weeks later: Underage girl goes home
At-risk minor in touch with Beduin criminals and who vanished for 3 weeks, returned home
Elhanan Gruner, HaKol HaYehudi, 8 Kislev 5781/24.11.20
A high-risk female minor, resident of the south who disappeared after being in contact with Beduin criminals, returned home three weeks later, as HaKol HaYehudi was notified.
Meanwhile, HaKol HaYehudi has learned that another minor has gone missing from the Mesila Institute for minor girls at risk. This is a girl who had previously disappeared for about a month and stayed in Arab villages, where she was rescued by criminals.
Last week we published a serious case of the disappearance of a minor from the south of the country and her family’s fear for her life.The girl returned home last night and was sent to the school by court order. The Lehava organization, who helped the family, called on the authorities to intensify efforts to find her.
“Yet again, an at-risk girl has disappeared, and it’s known that she’s in the company of Arabs who are exploiting her, and up to now there have been no signs of life from her”, says Anat Gopstein of Lehava, who is assisting the family. “These girls are not hefker, and the time has come for the authorities to take this matter seriously and to stop underestimating the phenomenon of exploitation of minors.
“Behind every girl there is a broken family worried for their daughter’s fate”, Anat says about how the families are coping. “I spoke with the missing girl’s family, and members of her family are begging for help. They don’t feel that the police are doing enough to find their daughter.”
“This is a daily, serious phenomenon. We have unfortunately seen the tragic case of Miriam Peretz z”l, who died of an overdose brought to her by an adult Arab criminal from Beit Tzafafa. We really hope that the girl will be found healthy and whole before it’s too late. The police should establish a special unit to deal with the phenomenon of nationalistic terror. It’s not right that a minor Jewish girl is exploited on a nationalistic background, and nobody deals with it as something that requires the authorities’ concern”, Lehava says.
It should be noted that these incidents are reminiscent of the missing minor from the Jerusalem region, who disappeared for a number of weeks about two months ago. After efforts by her family and Lehava, the missing girl returned home on her own initiative, and Lehava continues to help her even now while she stays at Mesila, within the framework of legal procedures in her interest.
As we revealed in a debriefing by HaKol HaYehudi, about 60% of girls at risk have run away or disappeared at least once from the institution they stayed in. It should be understood that these are minor girls at high risk who are under the responsibility of the state by court order.
Most of the girls are exploited by criminal elements while they’re missing, most of them Arabs, as they are usually on the run from the authorities and they usually have no home to return to. The difficult conditions in these institutions, first and foremost in the Mesila Institute, which is under the most severe criticism by the state ombudsman, contribute to the desire of the girls to run away from these institutions.
The police have more than once expressed their frustration that girls who are located and who return to the institution, sometimes disappear again the next day. This time, too, it’s a girl who is known for her previous disappearances.