A woman from the West Bank town of Qalqilya was reunited with her six children Thursday, four months after they were kidnapped by their father and held in Israel.
Border Guard officers came across the children during a routine search for illegal Palestinian residents in the Arab-Israeli town of Jaljulya and returned them to their mother.
"We entered the apartment and found a 40-ear-old man from Gaza and his 60-year-old mother," senior Border Guard officer Eliran Elbaz told Ynet. "We learned that the mother had entered Israel last year with a humanitarian permit to undergo treatment at a hospital, but decided to remain in Israel after the permit had expired."
Happy ending. Officers with mother and children at Qalqilya checkpoint
During a search of the apartment the officers also found six children, aged three to13. "We got other security elements involved, and it turned out that they are the children of the Gaza man, who divorced his wife, a Qalqilya resident, four months ago. He kidnapped them into Israel," said Elbaz.
The officers took the father into custody, and returned to pick up the children and take them to the Qalqilya checkpoint, where the mother was waiting.
Following the emotional reunion, a taxi took the woman and her children to Qalqilya.
The father and his mother were arrested for suspicion of residing in Israel illegally and later transferred to Gaza through the Erez crossing.
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