A one-year-old boy was found caged in an apartment building in Israel while local police were conducting a drug search.

Investigators searched the building and found the child with five other siblings in one of the apartment units. The children's 35-year-old mother was not inside the apartment at the time, officials said.

The mother was eventually arrested on charges of false imprisonment, helpless neglect and abuse, officials said Monday, according to Ynet News.

Police were conducting a drug search Sunday in the northern Israel city of Haifa when the child was found locked up inside a metal cage in one of the apartments. A pillow and a bottle were also found inside the cage, which was just around 1.64 feet (0.5 meters) in size, officials said.

"This is one of the worst cases I've seen. The child was left alone in a steel cage no bigger than half a meter without an ability to escape," Haifa police superintendent Yossi Attias said.

"We see any harm done to a child as inexcusable, and will work diligently in this case," Attias added.

The mother was not present at the scene when the siblings were found, but she was eventually brought back to the apartment.

"She was brought to the scene, then arrested by detectives for false imprisonment, neglect and abuse of a helpless minor," police added, as quoted by the Times of Isreal.

The mother claimed she "had no choice" but to lock up the child inside the cage, Attias reportedly said.

She also claimed she left the toddler in the care of his siblings while she stepped out of the apartment and that "this is her way of looking after him," Jerusalem Post reported.

Attias said the child was locked up in the cage for several days.

Social services arrived at the apartment and took care of the six siblings while their mother was apprehended.

During the Sunday search inside the apartment building, officials also found large amounts of what is suspected to be crystal meth and hashish in another apartment unit. Two men, aged 22 and 27, were arrested from the building for the possession of drugs.

Representational image (baby)
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