Why The Police Didn’t Take The Kidnapping Call Seriously

YERUSHALAYIM (Hamodia Staff) -

The disturbing question of why the police, who received a call for help from one of the teenagers at the time of the kidnapping at 10:30 Thursday night, did not immediately relay the information to security services, has yielded an answer that will provide little comfort to anyone.

Although no official explanation for the failure has been forthcoming, a source in the Israel police said that the hotline did not take the call seriously, because they thought it was one of the numerous calls that come in from hostile Arabs who seek to overload it with false alarms. The emergency call centers say they receive thousands of such calls over the course of a year.

It was only at 3:30 AM Friday morning, when the parents of one of the abducted boys arrived at the police station to report they were missing and that a search had to be begun that police understood the call had been all too real.

On Monday, two senior police officials admitted the blunder to Army Radio.

“[I] will investigate the claims, but right now we are only focusing on the search [for the missing students],” Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino stated Monday morning, after  returning from a trip to the U.S.

Retired Commander Shlomi Katabi, former commander of the Yehuda-Shomron District Police, said there was no excuse.

“As soon as a suspicious message of this kind is received, claiming kidnapping, the police should immediately take action and assess the situation — and, of course, alert all necessary security services on the incident,” Katabi told the interviewer.

“I do not know where this went wrong,” he continued. “I understand that they reported to their superiors and a meeting was held to assess the situation. But the question is, where does an inquiry [into the delay] stop?”