Police on Monday said that they responded quickly to a call in the Modi'in area, where witnesses said they had observed a Jewish child being abducted by Arabs. The call turned out to be a false alarm, and the child was found unharmed.
The call was one of several received by police in the Modi'in area over the past several days, 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.
Upon receiving the report Monday, police dispatched crews who began an immediate search, aided by a police helicopter. A top official said that police weren't taking any chances.
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. Thankfully, none of them have been genuine.
“As soon as we get information from the field we are checking it out. We have been getting a lot of calls from the Modi'in area, and we have officers ready to respond to any emergency.”
Police weathered sharp criticism over their failure to respond in a timely manner to the kidnapping of the Israeli teens.
Several top police officials have been dismissed from their posts in the aftermath of the kidnapping, after it was revealed that they ignored a call for help by one of the murdered teens, thinking it was a prank call.
Part of the problem, police sources say, is that Palestinian Arabs often make prank calls in an attempt to tie up police with false leads.
It is not yet known whether the false alarms are the result of similar pranksters, or from concerned members of the public who simply misinterpreted what they were seeing, given the heightened tension at the current time.