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8-year-old killed, several injured in Ein Gedi rockslide

Some of the injured were evacuated to hospital by helicopter.

Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem prepares to receive casualties from a rockslide in Nahal David hiking trail in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Aug. 24, 2023. Credit: TPS.
Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem prepares to receive casualties from a rockslide in Nahal David hiking trail in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Aug. 24, 2023. Credit: TPS.

An eight-year-old boy was killed on Thursday in a rockslide along the Nahal David hiking trail in the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve in southern Israel.

Magen David Adom emergency medical personnel treated nine people on the scene, and helicopters were dispatched to evacuate some to the hospital.

The eight-year-old fatal victim was identified as Yehuda Levi, son of Moshe and Rachel Levi, residents of Hemdat in the Jordan Valley. A four-year-old girl was in moderate condition, and several others were lightly to moderately injured.

Members of the Israel Air Force’s elite Unit 669 search and rescue group were also sent to aid in the recovery efforts.

Ein Gedi, located on the western shore of the Dead Sea and adjacent to the Judean Desert, is one of Israel’s most popular tourist attractions.

Environmental Protection Minister Idit Silman on Thursday afternoon announced an official inquiry into the event. “This is a difficult day and a terrible disaster, I send condolences to the family of the child who was killed while on a trip with his family and send wishes for recovery to the injured,” said Silman

“In the coming days, I will bring together the relevant professionals to establish the committee,” she stated, adding that the Nahal David and Nahal Arugot nature reserves would be closed until further notice.

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