Police rescue teacher kidnapped from Umm al-Fahm high school
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Police rescue teacher kidnapped from Umm al-Fahm high school

Massive manhunt including undercover officers, helicopter and roadblocks locates abductors’ vehicle; one suspect arrested

Police man a checkpoint in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm after a teacher is kidnapped from a local high school by armed assailants, December 12, 2018. (Hadashot screen capture)
Police man a checkpoint in the northern Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm after a teacher is kidnapped from a local high school by armed assailants, December 12, 2018. (Hadashot screen capture)

Police rescued a high school teacher in the Arab Israeli town of Umm al-Fahm Wednesday morning after he was kidnapped from the school by armed assailants.

The teacher, who has not been identified, was reported kidnapped from the high school gates at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, with witnesses saying armed men forced him into a vehicle and drove away.

Police in the crime-ridden town launched a manhunt that included roadblocks, large numbers of officers, some of them undercover, and a helicopter.

The kidnappers’ vehicle was located and cornered, and the teacher was rescued unharmed.

One armed kidnapper was found in the vehicle and taken into custody.

Police have launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping, which took place in broad daylight in the entrance to the public high school.

More arrests are expected in the case, officials said.

Police reported on the manhunt only after the teacher had been rescued, fearing that press reports about the morning kidnapping could have an adverse effect on their efforts.

Umm al-Fahm, which has a population of around 52,000, has been plagued by high crime rates for years, including local organized crime.

Since the beginning of 2018, shootings in the city have claimed the lives of at least five residents, and wounded another 14.

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