Police appoint team to examine mishandling of distress call from missing teens

Team set up to review two-minute-long call which was ignored for 5 hours on night of abduction; police play tape of call to families of kidnapped teens.

June 18, 2014 20:35
2 minute read.
Yochanan Danino

Yochanan Danino 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)


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Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino on Wednesday appointed a team of seven officers to examine how police, on the night of the abduction, handled a distress call from one of the kidnapped teens that was thought to be a prank call and ignored for five hours.

The announcement was made shortly after police played the tape of the call for the families of the missing youths.

Police said the committee will be headed by Dep.-Ch. Moshe Barkat of the Operations Branch. It is expected to issue its findings in the coming days.

“I am aware of and understand the public criticism of how police handled the 100 call on the night of the kidnapping,” Danino said, although he called some of the criticism “cynical in nature and inappropriate.”

The police commissioner’s announcement came a few hours after Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the public and press were justified in their criticism of the police for their failure to take the distress call seriously.

“The criticism is justified, but I’ve also said that we must examine what happened and apply the lessons learned,” Aharonovitch said.

Aharonovitch and Danino have visited the families of the missing teens in the past two days.

Aharonovitch said the tape “is very hard to understand” and that at some point it will be released to the public. Others who have heard it, including Channel 10 reporter Roy Sharon, said it was clear and not difficult to understand.

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