(photo credit: )
In the late hours of January 18, a 28-year-old bakery owner from the northern Arab-Israeli village of Turan, near the Golani Junction, was driving home when he was suddenly set upon by two men.
So began a 48-hour hostage ordeal.
The man, who had reportedly fallen into debt, was abducted for ransom, and minutes after the kidnapping, his family began receiving continuous telephone threats to the man's life and demands for money.
The family contacted the police.
"We mobilized negotiations and operational teams from the national headquarters, the Northern District and the Amakim Subdistrict," said Supt. Tamir Arad, head of the Preliminary Inquiry Department of Amakim's Central Unit, who added that the operation was led by the unit's commander, Dep.-Cmdr. Avi Elgarisi.
A media blackout was declared to protect the hostage's life - some details still remain secret - while police, who have a preparedness plan for dealing with ransom situations, used an undercover operation to trace his abductors.
Once they understood that the police were closing in, they apparently panicked.
"The kidnappers released [the man] because they understood police were on their trail," Arad said. "They decided to try and end this."
The undercover investigation continued, however, and on Sunday police arrested Ahmed Hativ, 49, and Khatem Asalim, 30, of the northern village of Arava.
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