The carjacked vehicle
The carjacked vehicleShai police spokesman

When the wife of a resident of Dolev, north of Jerusalem, called frantically to report Arabs had carjacked their car with their one-year-old daughter inside, the Jewish father quickly picked up a knife and drove to the abduction spot, saving his baby.

"I was driving home toward Dolev with the small daughter in the back seat,” the mother recalled Tuesday, in an interview with Yediot Aharonot.

“Suddenly, a car began tailgating me, so I accelerated. Then heard something hit the car from the back so I went out to see what happened. There were three Palestinians in the car. One of them got out and asked if something had happened. Before I could answer, he was already inside my car. The two cars drove off, speeding away. I was helpless. The cellphone was inside the car. I ran to the middle of the road, screaming that my girl had been abducted. An Arab man let me call my husband.”

The husband, who is a former officer in an elite IDF unit, was at the family's home in Dolev when he received the call. “She shouted on the phone that the girl had been kidnapped with the vehicle,” he recounted. “I put on my shoes, took a knife and ran outside to save my daughter. I looked for a car I could take and saw that a jeep belonging to a friend who has a handgun was parked outside. We drove off at high speed to the abduction spot.”

The neighbor added: “We knew that every minute was critical, so we drove very fast in order to chase after them, at the same time that we reported to the army.”

The two met the distraught mother at the spot where the abduction occurred.

“My wife pointed to the direction they had driven to. I understood that they were en route to Ramallah. We got in the jeep and entered the village at high speed, to rescue her. I was not afraid. I had one thing on my mind – that my daughter's life is at risk here.

“In the middle of the village, an Arab man stopped and told us, in Hebrew, 'Come with me, things will work out OK.' We drove on and found the car abandoned at the side of the road, with some Palestinians already milling about next to it. I immediately went over to the back door to see that my daughter is OK. She had just woken up. She did not know what was happening around her and was surprised to see me.”

According to the newspaper, some Palestinian Authority police also arrived on the scene and demanded to take the father to questioning, in Ramallah. The father refused. The couple drove off with their baby to the Modiin Illit police station, where police showed the mother photos of known car thieves. They did not reach home until evening.

"I don't want to think what could have happened,” the father said. “If they had decided that they have a bargaining chip in their hands, they could easily have taken her to a basement in Ramallah, and my daughter would be a hostage for bargaining with. Luckily for us, the police acted in a determined way and entered the village without waiting for rockproofed cars.

"We live in a crazy state of defense,” he added, “between fences and patrol cars. It makes no sense that we should feel so exposed and vulnerable and that any Palestinian who gets a crazy idea into his head, whether criminal or nationalistic, can do what he wants with us. We hope this event will be the last. We live in fear and there is a quiet intifada here.”