LISTEN: Kidnapped Israeli's Anguished Call for Help

911 Plea to Police Was Tragically Bungled

By Reuters

Published July 01, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The appeal for help - “They’ve kidnapped me” - came in a whisper on a furtive cell-phone call that one of three abducted Israeli teenagers made to police from the car that had picked them up on a road in the occupied West Bank.

Within seconds, the muffled sound of what could have been gunfire from a silencer-equipped weapon was heard on the recorded call. The recording was released on Tuesday, just before the three were buried.

Jewish seminary students Gil-Ad Shaer and U.S.-Israeli national Naftali Fraenkel, both 16, and Eyal Yifrah, 19, went missing while hitchhiking in the West Bank on June 12.

Their bodies were found on Monday not far from where they disappeared. Israel blamed Hamas Islamists for the abduction and killing. The group has neither confirmed nor denied involvement.

The recording begins with a police emergency operator answering and giving his name as “Udi”.

“They’ve kidnapped me,” one of the youngsters, identified by Israeli authorities as Shaer, says in a hushed voice.

Unintelligible noise can be heard, prompting the operator to ask: “Hello?”

“Head down, head down,” one of the kidnappers snaps, speaking in Hebrew with an Arabic accent.

“Hello?” asks the operator.

“Head down, down, hands down,” the kidnapper says.

“Hello?” the operator says.

Two shouts are heard and then the sound of what appears to be physical blows.

“Hello?” the operator says again.

There is more shouting, louder this time.

“Hello?” the operator asks.

“Ay, brother,” someone says softly in the vehicle as a series of what seems to be silenced gun shots are heard.

“Hello?” the operator says.

But there is only the sound of an Israeli radio station playing on the car radio.

“Hello? Answer me, whose telephone … where are you now,” the operator asks.

The recording ends there.

Police publicly acknowledged shortly after the teenagers were abducted that one of them had made the emergency call - and that operators failed to alert the appropriate security personnel, apparently believing it was a hoax.

A search for the three began only hours later after one of the teenagers’ parents reported him missing. Five policemen have been dismissed after a preliminary investigation.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • PHOTOS: Hundreds of protesters marched through lower Manhattan yesterday demanding an end to American support for Israel’s operation in #Gaza.
  • Does #Hamas have to lose for there to be peace? Read the latest analysis by J.J. Goldberg.
  • This is what the rockets over Israel and Gaza look like from space:
  • "Israel should not let captives languish or corpses rot. It should do everything in its power to recover people and bodies. Jewish law places a premium on pidyon shvuyim, “the redemption of captives,” and proper burial. But not when the price will lead to more death and more kidnappings." Do you agree?
  • Slate.com's Allison Benedikt wrote that Taglit-Birthright Israel is partly to blame for the death of American IDF volunteer Max Steinberg. This is why she's wrong:
  • Israeli soldiers want you to buy them socks. And snacks. And backpacks. And underwear. And pizza. So claim dozens of fundraising campaigns launched by American Jewish and Israeli charities since the start of the current wave of crisis and conflict in Israel and Gaza.
  • The sign reads: “Dogs are allowed in this establishment but Zionists are not under any circumstances.”
  • Is Twitter Israel's new worst enemy?
  • More than 50 former Israeli soldiers have refused to serve in the current ground operation in #Gaza.
  • "My wife and I are both half-Jewish. Both of us very much felt and feel American first and Jewish second. We are currently debating whether we should send our daughter to a Jewish pre-K and kindergarten program or to a public one. Pros? Give her a Jewish community and identity that she could build on throughout her life. Cons? Costs a lot of money; She will enter school with the idea that being Jewish makes her different somehow instead of something that you do after or in addition to regular school. Maybe a Shabbat sing-along would be enough?"
  • Undeterred by the conflict, 24 Jews participated in the first ever Jewish National Fund— JDate singles trip to Israel. Translation: Jews age 30 to 45 travelled to Israel to get it on in the sun, with a side of hummus.
  • "It pains and shocks me to say this, but here goes: My father was right all along. He always told me, as I spouted liberal talking points at the Shabbos table and challenged his hawkish views on Israel and the Palestinians to his unending chagrin, that I would one day change my tune." Have you had a similar experience?
  • "'What’s this, mommy?' she asked, while pulling at the purple sleeve to unwrap this mysterious little gift mom keeps hidden in the inside pocket of her bag. Oh boy, how do I answer?"
  • "I fear that we are witnessing the end of politics in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I see no possibility for resolution right now. I look into the future and see only a void." What do you think?
  • Not a gazillionaire? Take the "poor door."
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.