(JNS.org) The Israeli man who went missing in the Judea region Thursday has been found safe, sparking the accusation by authorities that he faked his disappearance along with the friend who reported him missing.
Earlier on Thursday, IDF and Israeli police forces undertook a massive search in an area between Kiryat Arba and Bayt Einun in the Judea region after receiving an emergency call that indicated a possible kidnapping of an Israeli youth by Palestinians.
The person who made the emergency call said that he and a friend became stranded in their vehicle due to a flat tire, and that his friend went to find tools to replace the wheel but never returned.
When the IDF arrived on the scene, they found no flat tires in the vehicle and took the caller into custody. later, in addition to a ground search, the army launched drones and observation balloons to get a bird's eye view of the area,
By late Thursday police discovered the missing man, 22-year-old Niv Asraf, alive in a dry creek bed with a sleeping bag and a supply of food.
Police are now investigating the incident as a hoax, especially since another friend of Asraf told authorities that "this isn't the first time he's gone missing."
"The 'missing man' and his friends staged a kidnapping. We'll investigate the reasons behind this and will handle this to the full extent of the law," a police spokesperson said, Yedioth Achronoth reported.