The sudden, romantically-driven departure of a young girl sent shockwaves across a small West Bank Jewish settlement, as the 18-year-old Y. boarded a one-way flight to Belgium to unite with a man she had met through Facebook chat.
What some might think of as a moving continent-spanning love story, drew the ire of the youth's family, who pointed to the dangers inherent in leaving the familial nest for a man she has never met and who lives in another country, entreating her to call the plan off.
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"He could be anyone, including a pimp mafioso," said an acquinatance. "It's a story that comes as a blow to whoever hears it. We're not used to such things around here!"
The story began some three months ago, as the youth received a Facebook message from a stranger, who told her he is 25-years-old and lives in a small Luxembourg principality. He confided in her he used to be a drug dealer in the past but has since returned to the straight and narrow.
"She simply fell in love with him," the girl's friend told Yedioth Ahronoth. "She became motivated and started working to save money for a plane ticket." Her friends even tried to involve the police but were told there is nothing to be done as the girl was no longer a minor.
"In the photos he looks handsome and sensitive, but our biggest fear is that she'll just disappear," her friends say. "We tried speaking to her, we told her he could be a trafficker, and described all the horrible things he could do to her and to her body, but it only turned her even more stubborn."
The girl's parents even proposed to fund the young man's plane ticket to Israel.
On Sunday, before departing to the airport, Y. told her family: "I'm determined to go through with this. It's my life and it's none of your business. There's no knowing whether it will turn out well or not. I'm more concerned about the flight than about what's going to happen when I'm with him. How shall I get to know him if I don't live with him?"
Y.'s family and the school refused to speak to Yedioth Ahronoth.
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