The Israeli Police on Tuesday released to the public a recording of the emergency call made by one of the three murdered teens at the time of their kidnapping on the night of June 12.
Gilad Shaar, Hy”d, can be heard during the brief recording, saying, “They abducted me.” A different male voice, presumably one of the terrorists, can then be heard shouting “Head down!”
Then came the most disturbing part of the recording, as shots can be heard ringing out amid an apparent struggle, and the boys can be heard crying out in pain.
Four police officers were dismissed from their positions in the emergency call center as a result of their failure to take the call seriously and alert the security services, it was announced on Monday, just hours before the bodies were found. As a result of the delay in response, the manhunt did not begin until some four hours later, after family members contacted police.
Those removed from their posts include the head of the operations branch of the Yehudah and Shomron district, the deputy head of district operations, the head of the police control center where the call was handled, and a supervisor at the dispatch center that night.
The person from “Shaham” performing his national service in the police, who answered the call and passed it on to his supervisors, was found to have done his job properly.
National Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino said Monday that the incident was “a failure of the utmost severity” and vowed to improve service at police dispatch centers, which he calls “the address the public turns to when they face trouble.”
Police say that they are inundated with false alarms, and it is often difficult to discern on the spot which might be authentic. Over the course of the dispatch center’s 4p.m. to 8 a.m. shift on the 12th, they received 757 calls, of which 155 were listed as “harassing calls.”
However, the kidnap call was not listed as such. In fact, the supervisor made no fewer than 8 attempts to call back the number the call was placed on. Though to no avail.
Labor MK Shelly Yachimovich, whose voice can be heard on the radio in the background of the taped call, says knowing that her interview was being broadcast as the boys were kidnapped is “surreal.”
“I can’t get rid of thoughts on the surreal discrepancy between the calm interview conducted in my garden, so as not to bother my children and their friends who were at home, and what was happening precisely in those minutes to three other children, younger than mine,” she said.
Yachimovich praised Gilad Shaar for his bravery in placing the call, and deplored the “infuriating negligence” of the police.