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      New Zealand: Searchers Find Bodies of Missing Israelis

      Two Israelis were confirmed dead in the New Zealand earthquake, bringing the total Israeli death toll to three. Three missing.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 3/1/2011, 8:59 AM / Last Update: 3/1/2011, 9:06 AM

      New Zealand Defence Force, Wikicommons

      Searchers in the New Zealand city of Christchurch have found the bodies of two Israeli men who were visiting the area when it was hit by a deadly earthquake last week. The two were identified as Ofer Levi and Gabi Ingel, both of Rehovot.

      The two, both 22 years old, had been in New Zealand since December, and were planning to work on a farm near Christchurch.

      They were found in the rubble of a building in the city center. A relative had helped New Zealand search crews with the effort.

      A total of three Israelis have now been confirmed dead in the quake. The body of Ofer Mizrachi, of Kibbutz Magal, was found earlier in the week.

      Three others remain missing. Their names have been released: Chen Ben Hemo, Roi Vaknin, and Shlomo Avitan, all of Dimona. The three went on a trek prior to the quake and have not been heard from since.

      A total of more than 150 people have been confirmed killed in the quake. Authorities fear the final death toll could be as high as 240.

      New Zealand observed two minutes of silence Tuesday in memory of the victims.