Israeli with PTSD arrested in Abu Dhabi for behaving erratically

Nahman Gabai reacted erratically when police officers asked him for his ID and wanted to search him.

 UAE Police SUV (photo credit: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)
UAE Police SUV
(photo credit: WIKIPEDIA COMMONS)

Nahman Gabai, 21, from Jerusalem was arrested at Abu Dhabi airport on Monday for behaving erratically and insulting Emirati police officers.

The Interior Ministry said that it is aware of the incident and is dealing with it in the ministry's Israelis Abroad Department and the Israeli consulate in Abu Dhabi.

Gabai landed in Abu Dhabi on a flight from Tel Aviv for an eight-hour layover before he planned to continue to India. During the layover, Gabai left the terminal and stood next to another Israeli when police officers arrived and asked him to identify himself and then wanted to search him. As far as Israeli officials know, Gabai suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and reacted strongly, sweating and speaking harshly to the police officers.

The police took Gabai to the police station to conduct a strip search which stressed him out all the more. They found nothing, but arrested him for two days because of his behavior. On Wednesday, Gabai was brought before a judge, and his arrest was extended by another week. He is being accused of disturbing public order and insulting a public official.

Next week, Gabai will be brought before a judge again, and in the meantime, his family is getting him a lawyer to represent him.

 Traumatic experiences like car crashes, violence and sexual assault are among the many possible causes of PTSD (Illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY) Traumatic experiences like car crashes, violence and sexual assault are among the many possible causes of PTSD (Illustrative). (credit: PIXABAY)

'Just a misunderstanding'

"Nahman is a very special guy with the biggest heart I've ever known," Gabai's friend Carol told Walla. "The moment you look him in the eye, you can see who he is. He loves everyone and everyone loves him, and he always helps people in need even if it costs him. He has a high sensitivity for his surroundings and a developed sense of justice, and he has a hard time seeing social injustices of any kind, and he probably reacted mainly to what he saw as contempt and inhumanity."

"Nahman is diagnosed with PTSD, and when he finds himself in distress, he reacts illogically, emotionally and in an extreme way."


Gabai's mother, Ronit, said that Gabai "reacts badly to stress because of his PTSD, and he probably reacted in an unpleasant way, but that's not his fault. The man who was next to him said that he really panicked, but they interpreted it as him having something to hide. It's a misunderstanding that continued to develop, and I hope it's solved soon."