Prankster's Dad: I'll Give Him a Hug, Then a Slap

Shmuel Assaraf, father of the young man who faked his own abduction, says he has 'no idea' what happened - or why.

Tova Dvorin,

Niv Assaraf, arrested
Niv Assaraf, arrested
Hadas Parush/Flash90

The media frenzy over the fake abduction of 22 year-old Niv Assaraf continues Sunday, as father Shmuel admits that he has no idea what happened - or why.

"That isn't the Niv I know, and we just want to know why he did what he did," Shmuel Assaraf stated to Channel 10

"With all due respect, he did not do it because of his girlfriend," Assaraf added, referring to reports in some media outlets that his son had carried out the prank after being dumped by his girlfriend. "Without talking to him I can't say why he did it, he was discharged from the Border Police in November and he knows well what the rules and regulations are." 

Shmuel recounted what happened last Thursday from his perspective, when border guards told him not to worry, and to wait and see if Niv had returned home.

Then he heard reports that it was Niv who was missing, after a gag order was lifted, and he made a U-Turn on his way elsewhere and went home, "without a second thought." 

"Once they told me that Niv was missing, I was immediately unsettled," Shmuel said. He noted that Niv had told him and his mother that he would be with a friend at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron. "Why did they tell me not to worry?"

"What was running through my head was the abduction of the three boys [Naftali Frankel, Gilad Sha'ar, and Eyal Yifrah - ed.] over last summer and I told myself that suddenly I'm in the story too." 

"It came as a complete surprise to us," he said. "I met with the police, who questioned me, and during that time I asked to speak with his friend, Eran Nagauker." Eran and Niv have been friends since they were 13 years old, he added. 

Shmuel said that finding out Niv was alive was a "huge relief," but that the media frenzy also caused him to be "in shock." Niv's mother is also 'barely functioning," he added. 

When Niv arrives home, he concluded, "I'll give him a hug - then slap him." 

"He's still a kid if he does stuff like this," he added. 




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