Hundreds of policemen, troops and volunteers searched Monday for a recent immigrant, missing for five days from his home in Mitzpe Jericho, a residential village in the West Bank east of Jerusalem.
Police fear that Alexander Bronotchnik, 51, who arrived in Israel only a few months ago from the former Soviet Union, was the victim of Palestinian kidnappers.
But the discovery Monday of the new Ford Escort he was driving when last seen on March 18 seemed to point to a possible criminal reason for his disappearance.
The car was found abandoned in Har Nof, a suburb of Jerusalem, after police were alerted by a local resident. There were bloodstains in the luggage compartment.
The missing man was described as short, muscular, gray-haired with blue-green eyes and a broken nose. His height was given at 5 feet, 3 inches.
Bronotchnik spoke only Russian and Yiddish and a smattering of Hebrew. He was not familiar with the roads outside his village. The search was confined to a seven-mile radius of Mitzpe Jericho.
According to his family, he drove off early last Wednesday morning saying he was going to meet a carpenter in Kfar Adumim, a West Bank town about 5 miles away. He told his wife he would be back about 9 a.m.
When he failed to return and it was discovered that he never arrived at Kfar Adumim, the police were informed and Bronotchnik was declared officially missing the next day.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.