It was a true Chanukah miracle for a young couple from Dolev, whose one-year-old daughter was kidnapped by local Arab that had hijacked the family’s car on Tuesday afternoon, December 3.
Driving home to Dolev, a community located in the southern Samarian hills north of Jerusalem, the Israeli mother had her daughter buckled in the back seat, when an Arab vehicle that had been tailgating them suddenly bumped into the rear end of her car.
“I pulled over and got out to check what had happened. There were three Palestinians in the other vehicle and one of them came out and asked if there was any damage. I turned around to reply and before I could even answer, he was already in my vehicle,” the mother told Yediot Aharonot.
“The two cars drove off and I was left helpless.”
The Arab carjacker sped away with the young mother’s car – as well as her little girl who was asleep in the backseat, next to her mother’s cellphone and wallet.
In an interview with Tazpit News Agency, the girl’s father described the frantic phone call he received from his wife following the carjacking.
“They left my wife standing in the middle of the highway all alone and the only thing she could do was yell: ‘my baby’s been kidnapped.’ A Palestinian man saw her yelling, pulled over and gave her his cellphone so that she could call me and the police,” the father told Tazpit.
“When I received the call, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I wasn’t sure if it was even my wife. The number was unknown and my wife was hysterically yelling that our daughter might be killed. I asked her what my teudat zehut [Israeli identity number] was to verify that she was really my wife and when she told me, I knew the situation was real,” recalled the father.
He asked a friend who was armed to drive him to his wife’s location.
“At the spot that my wife had described where our daughter was kidnapped, I found my wife hysterical. She pointed in the direction that the Palestinians had driven off – to Ramallah.”
Recalling the situation, the husband said he was proud of his wife. “She didn’t faint, she alerted everyone who had to be alerted – this was a horrifying situation.”
The husband, who asked to be kept anonymous for security concerns, said he and his friend immediately drove to the nearby Arab village to locate the car.
“We couldn’t find the car in the first village, so we drove off to the neighboring village and there was an Arab man there who stopped us and told us in Hebrew, “Come with me, everything will be OK.”
They followed him and the father and his friend found the car abandoned, with several Arabs surrounding it. “I immediately went to the back door and our little girl woke up,” he told Tazpit. “She gave me a smile, which made me feel better, and I gave her a hug. I acted as if nothing was wrong – that we weren’t in the middle of a Palestinian village, or that our car had been stolen—as if everything was OK.”
But the story didn’t end there. Palestinian police arrived on scene and wanted to take away the father to Ramallah for questioning. The father refused and waited for Israeli police and military to arrive. Once they did, the couple and their daughter then traveled with Israeli police to a station in Modiin-Illit and the mother was asked to identify the car thieves, who were familiar to police.
“When my wife saw our daughter, she breathed a huge sigh of relief,” recalled the husband, formerly an officer in elite IDF unit. “There could have been so many terrible endings to this situation, but ours was a miracle.”
“Thank God, our situation ended the way it did, but people need to know that these kinds of things happen all the time in our region,” the father noted. “These situations can leave people in such trauma – ours was but a rare victory.”
“There are rocks thrown at our vehicles all the time, property and cars are stolen frequently, homes broken into – it’s the Wild West out here,” he added. “They see women driving and they think that they can do what they want.”
Naama Tzemach, 26, from the neighboring Neriya community, near Dolev, told Tazpit that residents in the communities of the Mateh Binyamin Regional Council live with miracles every day. “These kinds of things happen all the time. I’m scared to drive in certain areas because of what the Palestinians will do to us, but this is home at the end of the day.”
the mother of three, Tzemach said that “Anything can happen here, but God protects us – there’s no other way to explain what goes on here.”
About the Author: Anav Silverman is a regular contributor to Tazpit News Agency.
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