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Police Reject Claims of Leaking Teen's Call to Save Face

Call from Gilad Sha'ar leaked without police knowledge, Israel Police states, condemning 'insensitivity' to bereaved families.
By Tova Dvorin, Yaakov Levi
First Publish: 7/2/2014, 11:06 PM

Murdered (L to R): Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar, Naftali Frenkel
Murdered (L to R): Eyal Yifrah, Gilad Sha'ar, Naftali Frenkel
courtesy of the families

The Israeli Police released a statement firmly rejecting rumors that they leaked the full phone call made by murdered teen Gilad Sha'ar hy"d made to police hotline 100, claiming on Wednesday night that the leak was not theirs. 

"Further publications have aired relating to the dissemination of the phone call the night of the kidnapping, as if made ​​by the Israeli police," the statement began. "We strongly reject the argument that intelligence and facts were nothing but manipulation in an attempt to take the blame from the police."

"Our conduct regarding the intention to make the tape [of the call] was based on considerations of the best interests of the investigation, in coordination with ISA [Israeli Security Agency or Shin Bet - ed.] and compassion to the families and no more." 

The statement added that the decision to publish the call Tuesday night, during the teens' burial, was "insensitive." 

"It goes without saying that the timing of the publication while bringing the abductees to their burial lacks sensitivity towards families, and was in no way done by the Israeli police," it added. 

The call, which took place at 10:25 p.m. on June 12, lasted in total for 2:09 minutes - most of which was comprised of the police trying to resume contact after the caller was abruptly cut off.

Some of the tape consists of garbled pleas by Gilad for help, with the police respondent saying “hello?” in response, apparently not understanding what is being said to him. Eventually he does get the message and asks the youth where he is, but at that point, Gilad is cut off.

In the background, various noises are heard including shouts by the kidnappers at the youths to “keep their heads down,” an Israel Radio program, and several gunshots – and, it was revealed Wednesday afternoon, singing by the terrorists.

Police apparently thought  that the call was a hoax,, and ignored it until the parents of one of the youths filed a missing person's report at 3:00 a.m. It was still several hours before police connected the frantic call with the report.

The Israel Police have faced intense criticism over the abduction, even after five officers were dismissed following an internal investigation.