Jerusalem-Arab Charged in Bedouin Kidnapping Ring

Nadal Tubasi, a 35-year-old Arab resident of Jerusalem, is charged with kidnapping with the intent to murder or blackmail and extort.

Annie Lubin ,

Flash 90

The Jerusalem District Attorney filed an indictment Wednesday against Nadal Tubasi, a 35-year-old Arab resident of Jerusalem, who is charged with kidnapping with the intent to murder or blackmail and extort.

According to the indictment, filed by prosecutor Aviad Dwek, the accused participated in the kidnapping of Sudanese and Eritreans in Sinai by marauding Bedouins. The hostages were held in harsh conditions and threatened with execution by kidnappers if their families did not pay a ransom.

Tubasi, according to the indictment, served, on two occasions, as a contact between the kidnappers and the families of the hostages who were located in Israel, and oversaw the transfer of the ransom money.

On one occasion, a woman named Samhar Anda phoned her relatives in Israel, telling them that she, along with her uncle, was kidnapped by Bedouins, and that in order to be released her family would need to pay a ransom of $80,000. If they could not raise the money, she said, her uncle and she would be killed.

Once the initial call was made, Tubasi entered the picture. In November 2012, the kidnappers contacted him and told him that someone would contact him about collecting ransom money. Tubasi then met up with family members of the victims and arranged to receive the ransom payment.

On another occasion, a man named Hanok was kidnapped by Bedouins and was forced to call his family and ask them to raise the $40,000 dollar ransom his captors were demanding for his release. Similar to the first case, when the family was able to raise the money, Tubasi arrived to pick up the money and in December 2012 Tubasi was handed $17,000 at an initial meeting and another $23,000 a few weeks later for the release of the victim.

Tubasi allegedly used some of the money he received for his part in the kidnapping  to help the families of Hamas terrorists who are being held in Israeli jails.

The next hearing is scheduled for Sunday.