Counter-terror police free 16-year-old kidnapped for ransom in Jaljulia

Eight suspects arrested for holding teen, apparently a member of a rival gang, for over 24 hours while demanding hundreds of thousands of shekels

Illustrative: Israel Police investigate the scene of a crime on June 2, 2021. (Israel Police)
Illustrative: Israel Police investigate the scene of a crime on June 2, 2021. (Israel Police)

A 16-year-old resident of Afula was freed by special police forces early Friday morning, a day after being kidnapped by criminals who demanded a ransom for his release.

Police received information on Thursday afternoon according to which the youth, apparently a member of a gang, had been abducted by members of a rival group on Wednesday night and was being held in the Arab town of Jaljulia.

The kidnappers demanded hundreds of thousands of shekels for his release, threatening to harm him if the funds were not transferred.

In a ransom video sent by the kidnappers, the teen was seen sitting blindfolded with a gun to his head as the kidnappers demanded to know “who sent you.”

Police used undisclosed intelligence-gathering tools and technologies to locate the teen. Special forces from the police Yamam counter-terror unit raided the compound where he was being held and freed him.

Police arrested eight suspects at the scene. The suspects are being questioned and will be brought before a judge later in the day for an extension of their remand.

Police said the dispute was also tied to a brawl in Holon Wednesday night that included gunfire. In that incident, police arrested five suspects.

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