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U.N. Asked to Secure Release of Israeli Kidnapped by Gaza Arabs

Israel urgently requested today the United Nations secretariat in New York and the U.N. Emergency Force in the Gaza area to act to obtain the immediate return of an Israeli youth who was kidnapped at midnight Monday by Arab infiltrators. The police and U.N. representatives are making inquiries at the site where 17-year-old Erwin Owitz was seized.

As police reconstructed the abduction, the infiltrators, who came from the Egyptian controlled Gaza Strip, kidnapped the youth while he and a friend were spraying vines in Ami Oz, the village where he lives. The two youths did the spraying at night to be free to go swimming the next day. The youth relieved his friend, mounted a tractor and began his share of the spraying assignment. When Erwin failed to return well after midnight, his friend began looking for him. Finding no trace of him, the companion gave the alarm in Ami Oz which is a few miles from the Gaza Strip border.

Security units were called. They found the tractor abandoned at the end of the vineyard and tracks of Erwin and another man near the tractor, leading to a main road in the area. The security officials said it appeared the kidnapper waited at the edge of the vineyard and forced the youth off the tractor at gunpoint. It is believed here that the purpose of the abduction was to give Egyptian army personnel training in infiltrating and bringing back prisoners and documents from Israel. The youth’s father is chairman of the village.

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