Middle East

Israel declassifies documents in 1950s missing children saga

Israel has declassified reams of documents related to a decades-old mystery of young children who disappeared in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Some 200,000 documents were released online Wednesday from past government inquiries into the disappearance of about 1,000 children, mostly Jewish immigrants from Yemen and other Arab countries.

Immigrant families allege the Israeli establishment abducted the children for adoption by Israelis of European descent, believing they could give the children a better life.

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said the documents contained no "smoking guns" indicating an organized kidnapping.

Minister Tzachi Hanegbi, who oversaw the declassification, encouraged Israelis who think they were adopted in the affair to participate in an activist initiative to collect DNA samples to try to match them with their biological families.