Flag of Sweden.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Interpol and Israeli authorities arrested an Israeli-Arab man from northern Jerusalem suspected of abducting his three-yearold daughter from her mother in Sweden and taking her to live with him in Bethlehem, Jerusalem police said on Thursday.
The case began in September, when a Swedish woman contacted authorities in Sweden to report that her daughter’s father had taken him for a visit to Israel and was refusing to return. Jerusalem Police said she told Interpol that when she contacted the father he told her he was not returning nor was his daughter and that he would hurt anyone who came to take her from him. He also threatened to hurt the child, Jerusalem Police said.
After they received the complaint, Interpol issued an international warrant, at which point investigators from the Jerusalem District began an investigation to track down the father. They found out he was living with his girlfriend at her home in Bethlehem, and began tracking him.
On Wednesday, the man was spotted with his daughter, riding with his girlfriend in her car on the way to Jericho. Border Police officers stopped the man at a checkpoint before he reached the city, and arrested him and his partner.
The girl was taken to Child Protection officers from the Jerusalem Welfare and Social Services Department and brought to meet her mother, who flew to Israel a week earlier.
The Jerusalem Police said Thursday that two weeks before his arrest the father issued a complaint with police saying that an ex-boyfriend of the baby’s mother had been threatening him, and he fled to Israel for his safety and that of the child.
Police said they are working on extraditing the man to Sweden to face abduction charges.