‘Neglected’ Israeli child stays in UK

The fate of two Israeli children who entered Britain unaccompanied remains uncertain after one of them refused to leave the country this week.

On Monday, immigration officials attempted to repatriate a 12-year-old girl who arrived in London in June, but she refused to board a plane to Israel.

She has now returned to social services' care at a children's facility in the London area. Her nine-year-old brother, who has been living in Leeds for around a year, is also in local authority care.

Last week, their mother, a 38-year-old Russian-born Israeli, appeared before a Tel Aviv court facing potential neglect charges. She admitted sending the children to Britain to live with friends in an attempt to stop Israeli social services removing them from her care.

Israel's consul in London, Liora Givon, said: "We are back in the same situation we were in before the girl was due to go back. She is well and when I saw her last week she said she had made some friends [at the care facility]. We are in contact with British immigration officials but we do not know what they intend to do."

    Last updated: 11:21am, July 31 2008