Ezra and Rachel Agami (A’jami) immigrated to Israel from Syria in 1948. During the riots against Jews that took place in their city Aleppo after the UN partition plan on November 29th, their belongings we plundered and home was burned. They managed to escape, got on a flight to Lod airport, and came to the city of Jaffa with their six children. Upon their arrival they already had an encounter with child traffickers who offered them a lot of money for a boy or a girl.
In Israel they had five more children. The last one, Aviva Agami, was born June 27th 1955. When Aviva was two and a half month old she became ill, and Rachel her mother took her to the hospital (most likely to one of the two hospitals that operated in Jaffa at the time: Dajani and Donolo). She was asked to leave the child, and when she returned the next day she was told the child died of pneumonia.
Rachel entered the nursery, went through the beds, lifted blankets, and searched for her daughter. But this was in vain. She was shown a body of a baby boy or girl whose face was blackened. Due to this Rachel could not recognize her. She came out and said she’s not sure if the baby she saw was hers or not. The date of death was registered as September 6th 1955. Rachel was told the baby will be buried in a mass grave with an adult.
That’s when her suspicion was born and doubt began to linger. No clear body and no clear grave. With the years, as stories about abduction of babies during Israel’s early years spread and proliferated, this suspicion grew even more.
We, the young generation, were told there was another sister, the 11th daughter, who died as an infant and nothing more was added. Maybe they didn’t want to scare us, and maybe they didn’t really want to believe something that is so difficult to believe. Here, in the State of Israel, they kidnap children? They take children through deception from families blessed with many children, as if a mother with ten children won’t notice or will care less…?
Rachel never came to terms with her daughter’s loss. Her whole life she kept remembering and talking about her. Rachel and Ezra passed away a few years ago. And we, their sons and daughters, want to know our youngest sister. We hope this testimony will help make that happen.
(Written by Racheli Libling, daughter of Linda of the Agami family)
She was asked to leave the child, and when she returned the next day she was told the child died of pneumonia.
Rachel entered the nursery, went through the beds, lifted blankets, and searched for her daughter. But this was in vain. She was shown a body of a baby boy or girl whose face was blackened. Due to this Rachel could not recognize her.