Gondar, Ethiopia
Gondar, EthiopiaiStock

Vodu Adebabai, the 79-year-old Israeli man who was abducted in Ethiopia three weeks ago, has been released from captivity and is expected to return to Israel tomorrow (Tuesday).

Adebabai was freed following a chase and shootout between special forces and his abductors. Adebabai has already met with his family members in the city of Gondar.

When he was abducted, Adebabai sent a voicemail message to his family in which he said: "Help me. I'm in the middle of the jungle. It's raining hard. Help me. I'll probably stay here. Help me, help my kids. This trouble I wouldn't wish on my enemies. Help me."

The Israeli Foreign Ministry claimed that Adebabai staged his abduction for financial reasons. Local police in Ethiopia believe the abduction was staged as well.

A spokesman for the Ethiopian police said that "recently rumors have been circulating on social media that an Israeli was kidnapped in Gondar, the district commander also said after investigating - he was not kidnapped."

The family denied the reports that the kidnapping had been staged.

Following the shootout, it appears that Adebabai's abduction was genuine.