'I Disappeared Because I'm Fighting with People'

Prankster claims he wanted to disappear after getting into arguments; ex-girlfriend denies breakup was the cause.

Tova Dvorin, | updated: 09:14

Niv Assaraf
Niv Assaraf
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Last week's fake "abduction" keeps getting stranger, after the defendant admitted Sunday to Israeli news that he staged the kidnapping for puzzling reasons. 

"I'm arguing with a few people and that's why I decided to go away for a few days," 22 year-old Niv Assaraf, who staged his own abduction along with friend Eran Nagauker, stated to Walla! News on Sunday morning. 

The admission adds another wrinkle to the odd case, after Assaraf and Nagauker faked the former's "abduction" by Arab terrorists on Thursday, wasting hundreds of thousands in shekels in IDF and police resources as a massive search effort was launched. 

At first, it was widely believed that Assaraf staged the kidnapping to woo his ex-girlfriend, after he apparently reeled from a bad breakup two weeks ago. 

However, the Hevron District of the Judea-Samaria Division of the Israel Police estimates that Assaraf's conflicts were with others - but it is still unclear what precipitated the stunt. 

Assaraf's ex-girlfriend gave testimony to police Saturday night; before entering the hearing, she stated that she had doubts the breakup caused the prank. 

"I couldn't believe that he'd be in a state like this where he'd want to be kidnapped," she said, noting that "he took the breakup normally." 

"I don't think he staged the kidnapping, but I think he just wanted to disappear," she added. "I'm glad it's over and he's alive." 

Later Sunday, Niv's father Shmuel also struggled to explain the incident. 

"Maybe he did it because of his ex-girlfriend, but that seems strange to me," Shmuel Assaraf stated to Army Radio. "I didn't know how depressed he was, he doesn't talk a lot." 

Shmuel, who also publicly apologized for Niv's actions on Friday, added that he has never seen anything like this. 

"I understand the anger and criticism here," he said. "I was in career IDF service for 30 years, this is very strange." 




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