Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mr. Security

Cell with PM's Office phone number left in MK's stolen car
Thief phones Effie Eitam from Ramallah, demands NIS 12,000 to return vehicle

Effie Eitam's car was stolen by a Palestinian early Thursday outside the Knesset member's rented apartment in Jerusalem's French Hill neighborhood. The Mazda 5-type vehicle, which was leased by the Knesset, contained Eitam's cell phone, which contains the phone numbers of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office, as well as that of several ministers and MKs. Eitam, who found shards of glass where the car was parked, said the thief phoned him to negotiate.

"At first he (the thief) called my family, then my assistant and finally me," the National Union-NRP member told Ynet. "He said to me: 'I stole your car. I'm in Ramallah. If you want it back, I'm willing to hand it over for NIS 12,000 (about $3,000)'."

"You frequently hear of such cases, but when it happens to you it's kind of a shock," Eitam continued.

"You know deep inside that you won't be seeing that car again. And the thief? He's just a few kilometers from here and wants to negotiate. On his way he even passed an Israeli checkpoint – he couldn't have reached Ramallah any other way. I immediately informed the Knesset's chief security officer of the incident.

"There is one positive aspect to this incident – as a Knesset member I now feel what many regular Israeli citizens feel when their car is stolen. Unfortunately, a meter from our house exists a lawless entity (Palestinian Authority), with no order or security," the MK said.

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