Teenage girl feared kidnapped; police arrest suspect

Yara Ayoub, from the Arab village of Jish in the Upper Galilee, went missing last Wednesday

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Murdered teenager Yara Ayoub. (Israel Police)
Murdered teenager Yara Ayoub. (Israel Police)

Police on Sunday asked for the public’s assistance in the search for a teenage girl who has been missing since last week, while a court extended the arrest of a resident of her village whom police suspect may have kidnapped her.

Yara Ayoub, 16, from from the Arab village of Jish in the Upper Galilee, was last seen on Wednesday at 5 p.m. when she went to a bakery in the community of some 3,000 people.

She was described as slim, 1.60 meters tall, with black eyes and straight black hair. She was wearing dark jeans, a black coat and a black and white hat when last seen.

As part of the police probe into her disappearance, a suspect, 28, from Jish was arrested Sunday on suspicion of kidnapping and obstructing the investigation. His arrest was extended by the Safed Magistrate’s Court by three days.

The suspect denies the charges against him.

A resident of Jish who knows the Ayoub family spoke to the Ynet news site.

“We don’t know what the background is to Yara’s disappearance,” said the woman, who was not named in the report. “We are also trying to look for her. I hope that she will return to her family as soon as possible. We want to hear good news.”

On Saturday police asked the public to help locate missing woman Noga Yitzhak, from Tel Aviv, who was last heard from on Wednesday, when she notified her employer that she would be late.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday announced he would chair a new ministerial committee dedicated to combating domestic violence, and called for “much more” to be done to counter the phenomenon in Israel.

Speaking to the cabinet on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women after visiting a women’s shelter, Netanyahu said an increase in violence against women in Israel in recent years was “a criminal phenomenon” and called for stricter enforcement.

Tamar Pileggi contributed to this report.

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