Naveh: Kidnappers made no attempt to negotiate
Photo: Dudi Vaaknin
Eliyahu Asheri: Murdered soon after being kidnapped

IDF commander: Asheri murdered immediately

Central Command Chief Naveh says kidnappers of teen settler had no intention of holding negotiations for his release, murdered him one hour after kidnapping him

Central Command Chief Major-General Yair Naveh told a press briefing Thursday that there was no attempt made at negotiations by the Palestinian kidnappers of Eliyahu Asheri, who proceeded to execute the teenager one hour after kidnapping him.


The major-general said that after receiving information on the kidnappers, security forces arrested one captor. From the interrogation of the suspect, it emerged that Asheri was kidnapped near Ofra, by Ramallah, by a cell of terrorists belonging to the Resistance Committees.


A short time after being kidnapped Asheri was shot in the head at close range.


Contrary to claims by the Popular Resistance Committee's spokesman, Naveh said that the kidnappers may not have passed through IDF checkpoints on their way to Ramallah.


The body of 18-year-old Asheri, who was from the settlement of Itamar, was found Wednesday night in the Tira neighborhood in Ramallah.


The Central Command chief said that the Shin Bet sent a message on Monday about the kidnapping, but that the security forces did not know the name of the victim.


Inquiries carried out by the IDF found no information about a missing person.


Naveh said this was the third kidnapping incident in recent weeks.


After the abduction of an American student in Nablus and the attempted kidnapping of two teenage girls at a hitchhiker's post in Tzomet Rahelim.


"Traffic on Route 60 is mixed. We are protecting both the rights of the Palestinians and the rights of Israelis," he said.


"It's clear to us that this is a preferred operational method," the major-general said, addressing the wave of kidnappings. "It's very difficult to keep a hostage alive without information reaching the security forces and this apparently is the reason why Asheri was murdered a short time after being kidnapped."


Outpost evacuations delayed


Major-General Naveh emphasized that the kidnapping was well planned.


"Financial backing of tens of thousands of dollars from the Resistance Committees was received. The timing was perfect from the perspective of the terrorists, due to the background of events in Gaza," he said.


Naveh added that the kidnappers worked according known Hizbullah practices, according to which information is sent to Israel only after negotiations.


Regarding the prevention of kidnappings of Israelis, Major-General Naveh said that the IDF is working with the heads of settlements and the Egged bus company on increasing public transport in the West Bank.


The security forces hope that the religious decree released today by rabbis from the Religious Zionist movement banning hitchhiking will decrease the chances for a kidnapping. In addition, the Central Command chief pointed out that a military decree forbidding civilians from hitchhiking may be passed.


Naveh added that the decision to clear outposts has been delayed due to the security situation.


פרסום ראשון: 06.29.06, 17:09
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