Top hats, a dwarf, a Jew-fro wig and a fictional terror organization called “Abu Saqer el Khalili Brigades, the Kick Ass Branch” — all feature in a campy Palestinian parody of the kidnapping of three Israeli teens.
The first act begins with three men hatching the plot. One is a heavyset Arab man wearing a flannel shirt and holding a machine gun; the two others appear to be posing as a father-son duo of ultra-Orthodox Jews.
As they approach the road, they spot the three teens, played by Palestinian men wearing wigs (including one with an unmistakable Jew-fro), waiting at a bus stop.
Next, the “ultra-Orthodox son” feigns what appears to be a heart attack or choking episode, while the father runs to ask the hitchhikers for help. After they are lured to the scene, the three teens help carry the “ailing” kidnapper to the car, where they are ambushed by the man with the gun and the “ultra-Orthodox men” and stuffed into the trunk of the car.
In act two, the “kidnapped teens” are shown blindfolded on their knees while the kidnappers — wearing masks and brandishing an assault rifle and a handgun — stand behind them shooting a video claiming responsibility for the kidnapping, saying it was in response to Israeli arrests and land confiscations.
Hanging on the wall in the background is the schlocky banner of “the Kick Ass Branch” of a fake Hebron terrorist organization.
The next scene shows two IDF officers watching the kidnappers’ video, when a dwarf dressed as an ultra-Orthodox Jew enters the room. After talking to the officers and watching the video, he says that if the fearsome Abu Saqer el Khalili is responsible for the kidnapping, he wants nothing to do with it.
A Haifa University professor from the department of Middle East History told Israeli news portal Walla that the video was a gibe at Israelis.
“The purpose of these videos is to mock Israelis, to make us look stupid,” Dr. Ido Zelkovitz said. “The character of ‘Abu Saqer el Khalili’ is meant to play on the fears of the [Israeli and Palestinian] leaderships and the spread of the Salafist phenomenon. You could see this through the terminology and the message it espouses. The video is also full of religious motifs and smacks of anti-Semitism.”
The three Israeli teens — Eyal Yifrach, 19, Naftali Fraenkel, 16, and Gil-ad Shaar, 16 — were abducted while hitchhiking in the Etzion bloc south of Jerusalem on June 12. A large-scale operation to find the them has been underway ever since, concentrated primarily around the Hebron area.
Palestinian popular support for the abduction has proliferated on social media, with Palestinians posting photos of themselves signaling a three-fingered victory sign to symbolize the three abducted Israelis.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story said the video portrayed the kidnapping as a Jewish-Arab conspiracy.