The man said that “Halabi is safe and sound,” and offered the unmistakable detail that the missing soldier smokes L&M Red cigarettes.
Police officials said that the Damon Prison inmate who has called the family in the past, is known as a bother to them and has no substantial information regarding the case.
The Halabi family insisted that this is the first time they received a phone call from this prisoner. The soldier’s father, Nazmi, received the phone call this past Wednesday.
“The man called in order to receive the phone numbers of Halabi family members. We gave him my cellular phone number and he called me from some prison payphone and told me that he has information on Majdi.
“He also told me of the place where he was kidnapped. He said that those who assisted were Israelis and that he has information regarding the place in which my son is being held.
"Five minutes after receiving this information, I relayed the details to the Naharia police commander. Whoever,gave him this information knows exactly where my son is and is ready to come and talk.”
Regarding the inmate who gave the information, the father said, “I don’t know him, and I have never heard about him. He’s from Tulkarem and his name is known to the police.”
'Bring Majdi back to his mother'The prisoner noted that the details can be confirmed with another person jailed with him. He also stated that the appearance of Majdi’s mother on television broke his heart and that is why he decided to break the silence.
Majdi’s uncle, Lieutenant Colonel (Res.) Samich Halabi, who is heading the search crew, said that the telephone call, “Strengthens the assumption from our last meeting with Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, that Majdi was kidnapped and not missing.
"We demand that the State of Israel, the Israeli government and Olmert, who promised that he would do everything in his power to help, will immediately bring Majdi back to his mother.”
In response to the question of if they suspect that the same person is mocking them, he answered, “all of a sudden a person appears in jail and tells Majdi’s whole story?”
As noted, the police have many doubt regarding the authenticity of the information passed on to the family.
Majdi Halabi, a resident of Daliyat al-Carmel has been missing since May 2005. Different witnesses said that he left his house on the way to his Haifa base and on the way stopped at an ATM machine in order to pull out money. Afterwards, he bought a canned soft drink and stood at the hitchhikers’ station at the city’s exit.
Since then, he is nowhere to be found. Only a few days later, his family found out that he did not arrive at his army base. The IDF took even more time to understand that it was not some disciplinary absentee case and the soldier was declared missing.
Since then, an intensive investigation has been conducted by the military, police and private entities operated by family members and friends of the missing soldier.
However, the searches have proven unsuccessful. A year ago, the Born to Freedom Foundation offered a monetary reward of $10 million to anyone who can provide information leading to the Halabi’s whereabouts.
Hagai Einav contributed to this report