The Israeli Police need a new chief, a new minister and a swift kick up the backside, in no particular order.
Rumours have been circulating since the 3 boys were kidnapped that one of the boys called the police on his cell-phone at the moment of the kidnap and said “We’ve been kidnapped”, and then the phone went dead. The police sat on that call for anything between 1-5 hours (depending which paper you read) until the boys’ fathers made their separate way to their local police stations to report the boys’ disappearance. Those rumours have now been confirmed as true:
The Israeli police received a call Thursday night at 10:25 p.m. about a kidnapping but failed to act for several hours, reports indicated on Saturday night.
Eyal Yifrach, 19, from Elad near Petah Tikva, Gil-ad Shaar, 16, from the settlement of Talmon, and Naftali Frenkel, 16, a dual Israeli-American citizen from Nof Ayalon near Modiin, who were last seen at a hitchhiking post near Hebron Thursday night, and whose kidnappings were confirmed Saturday by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, were last heard from around 10:00 p.m. Thursday night.
According to Hebrew media reports, the police sent a patrol unit to the area only an hour after the call came in.
Only after the parents of the three started making their way to police stations overnight Thursday did the full picture surrounding what had happened become clear to authorities, Channel 2 reported.
It was unclear at which point the police notified the army. If reports are accurate, the kidnappers had about seven hours to kidnap, transport and hide the abductees, reports said.
The call was made to police dispatch around 10:30 p.m. but it was only as much as five hours later before security services were notified.
For the past 24 hours there has been furious criticism of police amid reports that they were notified of the suspected kidnapping but did not notify security forces, giving the kidnappers hours to flee the scene with the boys.
The Israel Police have not directly responded to the report, telling reporters to speak to the Judea and Samaria police district and not the national headquarters. Later on Saturday night, the Judea and Samaria district sent out a reply saying that they would neither confirm nor deny the reports which are the responsibility of the media outlets themselves.
On Sunday, the national police branch said that there is no truth to the reports that a committee of inquiry has been opened to probe the incident, and that they would still neither confirm nor deny reports.
According to Hebrew media reports, a senior police official attempted to deflect criticism and denied any faulty protocol in handling the call, as he said West Bank police receive dozens of false reports of attempted kidnappings on a daily basis. The official, however, vowed to set up a committee in order to examine why the information regarding a possible abduction was not passed on to the military faster.
The officer who had received the call from the abducted teenagers was described by a Channel 2 report as “a young, inexperienced” policeman.
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Sunday afternoon that he was aware of claims that police had dropped the ball in failing to relay to the IDF information about the abduction, and that such claims would be examined more closely after the teens were located.
“There are some things that will be looked into, but right now we’re in the midst of efforts to return the boys, not to look bin blame,” he said during a visit to the home of the Naftali Frenkel, one of the abducted teens. “Right now I assign the lion’s share of the blame on Hamas.”
Please pray for the safe return of:
Yakov Naftali ben Rachel יעקב נפתל בן רחל
Gilad Michael ben Bat Galim גלעד מיכאל בן בת-גלים
Eyal ben Iris Teshura אייל בן איריס תשורה