Police: Friends of 19-year-old who died waited 6 hours to call for help

Ariel Tzafrir's body was sent to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. The autopsy will play a significant part in determining what really happened during that tragic Friday afternoon.

Ariel Yoav Tzafrir.  (photo credit: MAARIV/FACEBOOK SCREENSHOT)
Ariel Yoav Tzafrir.
Police arrested four people suspected of organizing an illegal rave near Kibbutz Ruhama near Sha’ar Hanegev on Friday, during which Ariel Yoav Tzafrir, a 19-year-old who was an active IDF soldier, died.
One of the suspects arrested by police is a 22-year-old from Ariel who is suspected of intentionally causing or being indifferent to a person’s death – a crime that is punishable by life in prison.
Sources involved in the investigation pointed out that during his interrogation, the 22-year-old denied all involvement in Tzafrir’s death and claimed that the tragic incident didn’t happen at the party, but in a nearby parking lot, during a trip made by the deceased and his friends for the alleged purpose of taking more drugs.
“At a certain point two of his friends came back to the party and called for help, saying that there’s a guy twitching in the back seat of a car. We followed them to the location and starting trying to help, while urgently calling the police and Magen David Adom (MDA)” the 22-year-old allegedly told the police.
Tzafrir’s body was sent to the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute. The autopsy will play a significant part in determining what really happened during that tragic Friday afternoon.
The commander of the Israel Police Southern District ordered an investigation into police officers’ conduct in dealing with the incident. According to the current available information, police were notified about the rave taking place as early as 8:50 a.m. The informant complained about loud music and raised the possibility of a rave taking place nearby, but couldn’t direct the officers in the right direction.
A police car that left the Sderot station to search the area was unable to locate the rave, and transferred the report to the Kiryat Gat and Rahat police stations.
During that time, no report to the police mentioned Tzafrir or his condition, despite the fact that according to several testimonies, at around 4:30 a.m. hundreds of participants arrived at the scene and starting taking MDMA – ecstasy.
Two hours later, the 19-year-old starting feeling unwell and became disoriented. But instead of calling the police or MDA, his friends decided to place him in a car and let him rest. Only at 1:30 p.m. did MDA paramedics report the situation to the police.
Tzafrir’s mother wrote on Facebook on Saturday morning: “You think that you wake up to a wonderful day, but then someone up there decides differently. Oh, God, how could you take our most precious treasure from us. Ariel Yoav Tzafrir, our king, our sunshine, life, joy, our soul. My dear child. You were always a sweet and happy kid, always offering to help and noticing every detail. You left to a party and never returned.”
“The pain is too much to bear,” she wrote and added: “This hole in my heart, no one can ever fill it. It’s terrible, my Arieli, my beloved son, our good soul. I miss you already. What are we going to do? How do we continue from here? How? May you rest in peace. We love you, mom, dad, Maayan, Ido and Noa.”
Two years ago, in August, Tohar David died in similar circumstances, after collapsing during a rave near Beersheba. Four months later, the organizers of the rave were indicted with manslaughter due to their misconduct in evacuating the young girl.
Tobias Siegal translated this article.