TEL AVIV Ñ Palestinian insurgents have abducted an
Israeli national in what is assumed to be a plan to win the release of thousands of their
colleagues in Israeli prisons.
Israeli officials said Palestinian officials have provided information about an Israeli taxi driver missing since late Friday
and now believed to have been kidnapped and held in the Ramallah area of the
West Bank. The officials said the driver was probably being held by
unspecified Palestinian insurgents.
The abduction took place as Israeli authorities warned of fresh alerts
of a Palestinian attack, Middle East Newsline reported. Israeli radio stations warned Israelis not to enter
Officials said Israel has received help from the Palestinian Authority
in the search for the taxi driver. They said the PA has relayed intelligence
regarding the abduction.
Israeli authorities have been warning soldiers and civilians that they
could become the target of Palestinian abductions. Palestinian insurgency
groups, many of which have declared a ceasefire, have demanded the release
of about 7,000 Palestinians detained in Israeli prisons.
Officials said Israeli security forces found the taxi of Eliyahu Gurel
in the northern Jerusalem neighborhood of Bet Hanina. They said Gurel
telephoned his home on Saturday and told his family "I'm okay."
Israeli troops have conducted a search for the taxi driver in the
Palestinian villages around Jerusalem. So far, no breakthrough has been
reported and an Israeli court has banned the publication of additional