JERUSALEM (JTA) – An Israeli man who faked his own kidnapping, and his accomplice, were indicted in a Jerusalem court.
Niv Asraf, 22, of Beersheba was indicted on Wednesday in Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court for the stunt in April. His friend, Eran Nagauker, also was indicted.
He is accused of giving false evidence, breach of public order and obstruction of a police officer’s performance of duty.
Israeli security forces were alerted to Asraf’s disappearance on April 2 by Nagaukar. He said Asraf entered the Palestinian village of Beit Anun, near Hebron, to get help after they became stranded with a flat tire.
Nagaukar originally said his friend staged the kidnapping to get the attention of a former girlfriend, but Asraf later said that he ran because he owed tens of thousands of shekels in gambling debts to “well-known criminals.” The search involved 3,000 Israeli soldiers. He was found a day later hiding near Kiryat Arba with a sleeping bag and canned food.
“If I had seen all the chaos, believe me, I wouldn’t have done it,” Asraf said in April after he was apprehended by police. “I didn’t plan for this. If I had known it would be considered a kidnapping, I never would have done it. No one told me what was happening outside. I was isolated.”