At Least 9 Teenagers Die in Israel Flash Floods

A military helicopter searches for missing students near the Dead Sea southern Israel

A military helicopter searches for missing students near the Dead Sea southern Israel

Nine girls and one boy, majority aged 17 or 18, were swept away to their deaths yesterday when flash floods engulfed Nahal Tzafit, a riverbed canyon in the Arava region, south of the Dead Sea. The main question being asked was why the group had chose to continue with the hike in an area known for flash floods. According to the officials, two youths were hospitalised for hypothermia and other injuries, and 13 were rescued unharmed, reported the New York Times.

Funeral for the students who lost their lives was held on Friday.

The usually dry areas of North Africa and the Middle East have been hit by intermittent heavy rainfall in recent days.

It is common for Israeli teenagers to take a gap year following the completion of high school before they start their compulsory military service in order to further their studies.

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The head of a seminary who organized a desert trek in which 10 Israeli teenagers were killed in a flash flood has been arrested on suspicion of causing death through negligence, police said. "I didn't know if they were alive, or if what I saw was bodies". The excursion was intended as a pre-program bonding experience.

The Hebrew-language Ha'aretz newspaper reported that the group went hiking in the wadi despite a statement issued by Nature and Parks Authority, warning floods are expected in the region.

"I can't believe that I am actually going out in this weather, it's not logical that we should go to such a place where there will be floods, it's tempting fate, we will die, I am serious", a student wrote, according to local reports.

The hike the students were on was meant to be a "bonding trip" for them, according to officials.

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