Nine students from the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv were killed from flash flooding near the Dead Sea. The group of students were hiking in the Tzapit river, which had been a dry riverbed until unseasonal rains struck Israel over the last few days. More than 20 students from the academy were caught in the flash flood.

A Magen David Adom paramedic team initially said that 3 students were declared dead, that 7 youths were reported to be in critical condition and that 5 others were missing. Two others were reported to have been lightly injured.

Thirteen members of the group were rescued and unharmed, but 2 are moderately wounded and 1 is still missing.

Police, civilians and units from the elite 669 Search and Rescue unit of the Israeli Air Force immediately conducted searches. Soroka Hospital in Beersheba issued a statement saying that some of the injured were en-route by helicopter to the hospital.

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Israel has been hit by unseasonal heavy rains over the last two days, leading to flooding in some areas in the south.

On Wednesday, a 16-year-old Bedouin boy was swept away in the Mamshit Stream in the southern Negev, and a 17-year-old Palestinian girl who was herding sheep in the hills east of Bethlehem was killed after being swept away in a flash flood.

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Source: Israel in the News