W. Bank kidnapping attempt thwarted

Three Palestinian suspects arrested for trying to abduct hitchhiker near Eli.

hitchhiking  298 AJ (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
hitchhiking 298 AJ
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
An Israeli civilian narrowly escaped being kidnapped by Palestinians while hitchhiking in the West Bank on Sunday. The civilian, who lives at the Kidah outpost near Shiloh, was waiting for a ride near the Eli Junction when a Palestinian car pulled over. The three occupants then tried to force the hitchhiker inside, but he managed to escape and immediately contacted the police. Evyatar Nahon, the Israeli teenager who refused to board the car, said the passengers' accents made him suspicious. "The [car's] license plate was Israeli, but their accents turned them in," he said. "I asked them if they were Arabs - and they said they weren't. I didn't believe them and ran to report the incident." Nahon said hitchhiking was the only option open to the residents of the outpost. "There are very few buses," he said. "Parents are trying to change this, but nobody seems to be listening." IDF troops and Border Police deployed in the area where the kidnapping attempt had been reported and set up roadblocks. Border policemen stopped the suspects' car near the Bir Zeit Junction, north of Ramallah, and arrested all three men. The suspects' car contained two guns and a large quantity of ammunition. Recently, the IDF issued a video designed to dissuade soldiers from hitchhiking in the West Bank. The video reenacted the kidnapping and murder of teenager Eliahu Asheri, who was abducted and killed in late June. IDF sources told The Jerusalem Post that the IDF had intelligence on terror cells in the West Bank that were planning to kidnap Israeli civilians and soldiers.