December 16, 2018

Nine Teenagers Killed in Israel Flash Flood

An April 26 flash flood has killed nine teenagers in Israel and left one teenager missing.

The victims were taking part in a hike nearby the Tzafit river as part of their training before they enrolled into Bnei Zion Pre-Military Academy when the flood occurred, which was due to heavy rainfall from the past couple of days.

The nine victims consisted of eight girls and one boy, and there is one girl who is still missing. Two other victims sustained non-life-threatening injuries. The 13 others in the group were not injured.

“This is a very difficult and unfortunate event, and the rescue operation from the field was complex and was carried out in full cooperation between the security forces that arrived at the site, Unit 669 of the Israel Air Force, Magen David Adom, The Police, Fire Brigade and the Rescue Units, in difficult conditions and with personal risk, we share the sorrow of the families and wish a speedy recovery for the young people who were injured,” Magen David Adom Director-General Eli Bin said in a statement.

One of the first responders on the scene, Yehuda, told The Jerusalem Post that what he witnessed at the scene was “one of the hardest things I’ve had to see and deal with.”

“There is no easy way to expand further on this – there is no way I can put this into words at this time,” Yehuda said.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued his condolences on Twitter.

“Israel today mourns the promising lives that were cut short in the massive tragedy in the Arava,” Netanyahu wrote. “We painfully embrace the grief-stricken families and pray for the speedy recovery of the injured.”

The Jerusalem Post obtained text messages from students on the hike who were astonished that they were still going on the hike despite the weather conditions.

“It’s not logical that we should go to a place that is completely flooded,” one of the victims wrote. “It’s tempting fate. We are going to die. I am serious.”