Fear of Another Kidnapping

Arab sources in the PA said last night, and again today, that they had kidnapped another Israeli. Eliyahu Asheri, 18, of Itamar, has not been seen since he left Beitar Illit on Sunday.

Hillel Fendel, | updated: 13:37

Eliyahu, son of Miriam and Yitro Asheri, is a student at the pre-military yeshiva academy in N'vei Tzuf, in the western Binyamin area. He was last seen Sunday when he left a friend's home in Beitar Illit on his way north. He was to have joined his yeshiva colleagues on a trip to the Golan Heights, but the head of the academy called this morning to say that Eliyahu never arrived.

Volunteers are on their way to Beitar Illit, south of Jerusalem and west of Gush Etzion, to see if they can find a trace of the missing youth.

A friend of Eliyahu informed the police early Monday afternoon that he had seen him Sunday evening at the French Hill junction in northern Jerusalem, where hundreds of people wait for rides northward every day.

The Popular Resistance Committees (PRC) terrorist group announced late last night that it had kidnapped a "settler." Arutz-7 has learned that an emergency room has been established in Itamar. Though his father told the police that his son has "gone off by himself" in the past, the security establishment is essentially convinced that the youth was kidnapped.

A spokesman for the PRC confirmed to Ynet this afternoon that a settler had been kidnapped, but said he would not "give out information for free."

Hamas spokesmen threatened even more kidnappings, until all Arab prisoners in Israeli prisons are released.

MK Yuval Shteinitz (Likud) told Arutz-7 that in his opinion, it is easier to find a kidnapped Israeli in Judea and Samaria than in Gaza. Asked what he feels should be Israel's strategy today, the Chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee in the previous Knesset said, "Beyond the problem of Kassams and a kidnapped soldier, a Palestinian Hizbullah is being formed under our noses in Gaza, with tens of thousands of young Arabs training to fight against us - and yet Israel does nothing about it."

Shteinitz said that in the short range, Israel must close down Gazan infrastructures, as well as target Hamas leaders. "Ultimately," he said, "there will be no choice but to go into Gaza, as I have long proposed, and carry out another massive offensive like Operation Defensive Shield."

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