Israeli commandoes rescue American woman from Muslim husband

Monday, September 21, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

A team of former Israeli army commandoes secretly entered a Palestinian Arab village in Samaria last week and rescued an American woman who had been held captive there for three years by her abusive Muslim husband.

Voice of Israel radio reported that the woman met and married the Arab man in the US years ago. She was eventually convinced to return with him to Israel, but after arriving was taken to Palestinian-controlled areas and forced to live as the man's second wife, subservient to him and his first wife.

She later said that her husband threatened to never let her see the son they had together if she tried to escape. He also said that Palestinian Authority security forces would arrest her if she left him.

The woman's family tried in vain for years to get the US Consulate in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Authority to help locate and rescue her, before finally turning to a friend who was a former Israeli soldier. That friend contacted another friend who was also a former commando, and who quickly put together an extraction team.

Using their own intelligence contacts, the team located the woman and her child, entered the village and brought them back into Israeli-controlled areas before anyone knew what had happened. By Wednesday, the two were on a flight back to the US and to their family.

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