IDF launches campaign against hitchhiking

Fearing that motivation among Palestinian terror groups to abduct soldiers is on the rise IDF launched a new media campaign under the slogan “Don’t catch a hike. The hike might catch you.”

Kidnapped IDF soldier hitchiking ad 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Kidnapped IDF soldier hitchiking ad 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Fearing that Palestinian terror groups are more motivated than ever to abduct soldiers, the IDF launched a media campaign on Sunday aimed at preventing soldiers from hitchhiking throughout the country.
Under the slogan, “Don’t catch a hike. The hike might catch you,” the IDF’s campaign will appear on billboards at train and bus stations and on popular Internet sites.
“The goal is to raise the awareness of the soldiers and their families to change the way soldiers travel,” IDF Spokesman Brig.-Gen. Yoav Mordechai said on Sunday.
In 2011, the IDF recorded around 20 attempts to kidnap soldiers in the West Bank and Israel. Senior officers have said that the increase in motivation was connected to the Gilad Schalit prisoner swap in October.
The IDF set up a website for the campaign: – “tremp” is Hebrew for “hitchhike.”
The website features a movie of a kidnapped soldier reading his abductors’ demands to release all of the “freedom fighters” in Israeli prisons. At the end, the soldier says: “Sorry mother.”
In January, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) arrested 10 high-ranking Islamic Jihad terrorists in the West Bank who were planning a series of attacks against Israel, including the abduction of an IDF soldier.
In April, the security agency revealed that a Palestinian released to the Gaza Strip in the Schalit deal had passed on information to relatives in the West Bank with instructions how to kidnap a soldier.
“This is a real threat that needs to be taken more seriously,” a senior officer said on Sunday.