Security officials on Monday categorically denied that Israelis were in “immediate danger,” as rumors spread on social networks that a major security event was anticipated imminently. In a statement, police said that the rumors were false, and that if Israelis needed to know anything, it would be presented in a forthright and organized manner.
“As a result of the increased tension of recent days, many rumors have been spread about various security matters warning the public of possible emergencies and dangers. We wish to make clear that if there is a need to inform the public of such emergencies, we will update everyone in an official manner via our Facebook page and in the media,” police said in a statement.
The rumors of the past few days have increased as tensions over a repeat of the kidnapping and murder of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrah, Naftali Frenkel, and Gilad Sha'ar – and fears of Arab revenge for the murder of Mohammed Abu Khder – come to a head. Over the past several days, dozens of kidnapping reports have been filed with police throughout the country, and officials said they immediately followed up on each one.
Police weathered sharp criticism over their failure to respond in a timely manner to the kidnapping of the Israeli teens. According to reports, Kiryat Arba police were informed of the kidnapping shortly after the abduction Thursday evening. Police forces eventually set up a checkpoint to make sure that the boys would not leave Hevron, sources said - but did not actually inform the IDF of the kidnapping until several hours later, at nearly 4:00 am Friday.