Two settlers are suspected of having given a false report of their own kidnapping, resulting in the launching of a large-scale manhunt that included the participation of IDF, police and Shin Bet forces.
The two men began by entering the village of Ein Abus near Nablus. At around 4:00 am they called in a report and alleged that they were bound and trapped inside a car.
IDF troops carrying out an arrest operating in Nablus were dispatched to the neighboring village and located the two settlers, though they were found to be unrestrained.
When confronted by the soldiers, the settlers fabricated yet another story – they reported that there had been a third member of their party and that he had been abducted by the Palestinians. At this point reinforcement troops were summoned. An hour and a half into the search, the two finally confessed to have made up the claims.
The IDF handed the two over to the Ariel police and filed a formal complaint against them.
The army views the incident with grave severity, particularly in light of the efforts and funds invested in the launching the search.
"This is a very serious incident," military officials told Ynet. "By entering a Palestinian village in such an irresponsible manner and falsifying that report – they not only risked their own lives but also put the troops in harm's way, troopers that would otherwise have been operating against terrorists."