Following the safe return to his family Friday of kidnapped seven-year-old boy Karim Jumhur, many of the 22,000 residents of the city of Kalansuwa near Netanya poured into the streets for a festive celebration led by MK Ahmed Tibi (Ta’al).
Police said that following their investigation and arrest of four suspects, “the police created a situation in which the kidnapped child became a burden to those holding the boy on behalf of the offenders.”
According to local reports, Jumhur was kidnapped in a financial dispute between clans. His father, Jaber, told investigators that the kidnappers demanded a ransom of NIS 4,000,000, which they subsequently reduced to one million sheqels.
The alleged abductors, three of whom are residents of Lod, were remanded for a week Thursday in the Rishon Lezion Magistrates Court while Jumhur was sent him for medical examination before reuniting him with his family. Police have not released information about the fourth abductor.
“I am happy and grateful for the release of Karim Jumhur from his kidnappers and his safe return,” said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. “I would like to thank the Israel Police and all the units which participated in the complex operation and used all their means to locate Karim and return him to his family unharmed. I hope that the law will deal with the kidnappers, and that they will be behind bars for many years.”
On Thursday, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich revealed that Jumhur was taken to the West Bank after being snatched Tuesday from outside his home in the Triangle in central Israel
“Since the child has been abducted by the perpetrators to the Palestinian Authority, we considered the Palestinian Authority to be directly responsible for Karim’s safety until he was returned safely to his family and we expected them to act to fulfill their responsibility,” Alsheich said Friday morning before the boy was rescued.
At a press conference, Palestinian Authority police spokesman Louis Arzeikat contradicted Alsheich’s claim that the youth was held in Ramallah. While noting that PA police and security forces raided seven houses in the West Bank provisional capital searching for Jumhur, Arzeikat said, “After investigation by Palestinian security forces, it turned out that… the boy was not in any of those houses. It turned out that the boy wasn’t even in the Palestinian Authority.”
Karim Jarushi of the Ramle- based Jarushi crime family went to Ramallah several times to mediate with the kidnappers, and was the first person to meet Jumhur upon his release, apparently in Lod.
Alsheich praised the Israel Police, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and the PA for their professionalism and coordination to “enable the Palestinian police to exercise its responsibility and quickly end the suffering of the child and his family.”
“At this stage we will not be able to detail the findings of the investigation beyond the fact that it makes it clear what happened and who is involved,” Alsheich said.
Footage of the incident released by the police showed Jumhur walking toward a white car with a male family member. The kidnappers, sitting in the front seats, appear to say something to the two youths. The older boy opens the door to the backseat of the car and a masked man pushes Jumhur into the vehicle, gets in after him. The kidnappers immediately drive away while the other boy runs back toward the family house.
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