"We have no other way to leave the community," Evyatar Mahon from the West Bank settlement of Maale Levona said Monday morning.
Three Hamas members were arrested after Mahon contacted security forces and reported the kidnapping attempt. The three Palestinians were taken in for questioning in order to check whether they were involved in the incident.
"When it all ended I was in shock because I was stressed by the entire incident, but I calmed down when I got home. This morning I woke up and recited 'hagomel' (blessing recited upon deliverance from danger). Thank God I am alive."
At around 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, after leaving the Itamar yeshiva high school, Mahon arrived at the Eli Junction in order to hitchhike to his community.
"I was standing at the intersection with two friends and we were trying to hitchhike together. A red Fiat arrived at the place a few minutes later and slowly approached us. The Fiat stopped next to me, and there were two people sitting in the front and one in the back.
"I opened the door and entered with half of my body, asking them where they were headed to. They answered "one", referring to one seat left in the car, although there was only one person sitting in the back and there were two places next to him. That was when I understood that something was wrong."
'Are you Arab?'
According to Mahon, he tried to get the car passengers to talk in order to find out their identity.
"I looked at the terrorist and asked him, 'Are you Arab?' He replied, 'No, no.' But it seemed suspicious to me. I asked him again, 'Are you Arab?' None of them answered, but mumbled something. All the three people in the vehicle seemed very stressed to me.
"My friends, who were at the intersection with me and saw what happened, told me 'get out of the car, it's dangerous.' I realized that these people could be terrorists and that this was a kidnapping attempt. I closed the door and quickly went to report it to soldiers at the roadblock. On the way we saw a military Hummer vehicle. We stopped it and told the soldiers about the red Fiat. Shortly afterwards I understood that they were captured."
In spite of the incident, Mahon promised that he would not change his habits and would continue to hitchhike despite the dangers.
"I regularly hitchhike because I have no other choice. I am aware of the dangers, but there is no public transportation to take us out of the community and back. Obviously I will now closely check the vehicles stopping at the hitchhiking stop, and I will suspect everyone, but I will continue hitchhiking as usual."