Israeli special forces, police rescue Palestinian kidnapped for ransom

Hebron resident in his 60s was physically unharmed after being kidnapped, held for ransom in Arab-Israeli city during business dispute.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Israel’s Yasam special operations unit and the Israeli police rescued a Palestinian man on Saturday evening, raiding a compound in an Arab city in northern Israel and arresting several suspects.

Issa Sayat, a Palestinian contractor in his 60s from the Hebron area, was kidnapped fo ransom last Wednesday near Rosh HaAyin in central Israel.

Sayat’s son called Israeli police, reporting that his father’s kidnappers were demanding a large ransom in exchange for his safe return. The incident took place within the context of an ongoing business dispute, the son said.

Shortly after the call was made on Wednesday, Israeli police arrested three men, all residents of the Arab city of Umm Al-Fahm, and seized vehicles they suspected were used in the kidnapping.

Another man was arrested the following day.

According to a Ynet report, the IDF and police collaborated in a joint effort to find Sayat, using “covert technological” means, including tracing cell phone signals, in order to locate him.

On Saturday evening, security forces raided a compound in Umm Al-Fahm, rescued Sayat, and arrested additional suspects, who were presumably holding him captive.

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Sayat was physically unharmed and transported to a local police station.

Superintendent Avi Biton, commander of Israel’s Central District police, praised security and police forces in a statement for a “creative and professional investigation.”

He added that he and the police will “work to bring all those involved [in the kidnapping] to justice.”

In early December, an Israeli teenager was kidnapped from Afula and held against his will in the Arab city of Jaljulia. A video of the boy blindfolded with a gun to his head was widely circulated on social media.

The boy, who cannot be named because is a minor, is believed to be a member of a criminal organization. He was allegedly caught by a rival gang while trying to set fire to one of their vehicles.

Israeli police and an IDF special forces unit rescued the boy from the compound in Jaljulia. He was subsequently arrested and has been held without bail on charges of attempted arson for his role in trying to torch the rival gang’s vehicles.