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Three Officers, Two Cops to Be Dismissed over Teens' Abduction

District Operations Dept. Commander, hotline shift commander and policewoman who classified boys' call as a prank to be dismissed.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 6/30/2014, 3:07 PM

Still missing (left to right): Eyal Yirfah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel
Still missing (left to right): Eyal Yirfah, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frenkel
Courtesy of the families

The Israel Police's Judea and Samaria District Operations Department Commander will be dismissed as a result of the police's mishandling of a call from the abducted yeshiva boys that was mistakenly classified as a prank call, as will the Commander of the District's Control Outpost (Mashlat) and Operations Branch Commander, IDF Radio reported Monday. Also to be dismissed are the policeman who was in charge of the shift at the police's '100' hotline and the senior policewoman who received the information about the call and classified it as a prank.

The five dismissals were decided upon by a committee appointed by Police Commissioner Lt. Gen. Yohanan Danino to look into the police's initial handling of the abduction. The committee handed in its conclusions Monday and Danino accepted them. A disciplinary court will decide whether to fire the policemen or keep them in service.

The young policeman who answered the call will not be punished, after the committee found that he did his job as was expected of him and did not fail.

The committee determined that in case of doubt about the veracity of a call, it must be treated as a real call until proven otherwise. Among the operations that the hotline staff must perform in case of an emergency call are a check of the ownership of the telephone that the call was made from, and location of the phone via satellite.

The initial call made by one of the abducted boys – Eyal Yifrah (19), Naftali Frenkel (16), and Gilad Sha'ar (16) – came in to the police's 100 hotline at around 10:25 p.m. on June 12, the night of the abduction. He whispered "I've been kidnapped, I've been kidnapped.” The young policeman – who is serving in the police as his military service – passed on the information to the veteran policewoman, who decided to disregard it. As a result, valuable time was lost.

It was not until 4:00 a.m. that the IDF was notified of the abduction.

According to Information from the report, which was released last Thursday, two veteran police officers attempted to call one of the boys no less than eight times during the first hours of the kidnappingAfter no one answered the call, the report said, the top-ranking officers concurred that the call was a prank, and delayed notifying security forces of the situation for several hours. 

The IDF on Thursday evening authorized for publication the identities of two Hamas terrorists being hunted for being “deeply involved” in the kidnappings of Israeli teens 

The two, Marwan Kawasmeh and Amar Abu-Eisha, are well-known Hamas terrorists operating in the Hevron area. Security forces are in pursuit of the two, the army said.

Kawasmeh, 29, was first arrested in 2004 for security violations, and since then has been arrested at least four more times. In an interrogation in 2010, he admitted working on behalf of Hamas in the Hevron area. He has participated in Hamas training camps and has helped the terror group to recruit new members.

Abu-Eisha, 33, was first arrested in 2005, and remained imprisoned until 2006. He was released, only to be arrested again in 2007. His brother was killed while conducting a terror attack in 2005 against an IDF patrol. His father has also been arrested numerous times for security offenses.