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American Yeshiva Student Missing in Jerusalem

23-year-old hareidi student last seen last Friday in Jerusalem Forest; 'there is definitely a fear for his life.'
By Haim Lev, Ari Yashar
First Publish: 8/24/2014, 3:41 PM / Last Update: 8/24/2014, 8:48 PM

Aharon Soffer
Aharon Soffer
Courtesy of the Israeli Police Official Facebook Page

Police and rescue forces are continuing their efforts to locate Aharon Soffer, a 23-year-old hareidi yeshiva student from America who disappeared in the Jerusalem Forest last Friday during a hike with a friend.

Soffer was last seen on Friday at 12 p.m. in the Jerusalem Forest; his disappearance was announced by loudspeakers through various parts of Jerusalem on Shabbat due to the very possible life-threatening danger he may be in.

The missing youth is of a lean build, and is 1.75 meters (5'9'') tall, has a short red beard and wears glasses. He was last seen wearing black pants, a white shirt and a black kippah.

According to Yeshiva World News, Soffer hails from Lakewood, New Jersey, and was visiting Israel to learn in a Jerusalem yeshiva.

The police request the help of the public in locating the missing youth, and ask anyone with any pertinent information to immediately contact the Jerusalem Police at 02-5391520, or the 100 emergency police hotline.

One of the sources helping in the search told Arutz Sheva that the danger to Soffer's life increases each hour that passes.

"We don't know where he disappeared to. While we want to believe that he finished the forest path and went to one of the yeshivas or to an apartment somewhere, each passing hour that he doesn't contact us raises the concern that he is unable to contact us," noted the source.

"There is definitely a fear for his life," clarified the source. "Therefore, we ask for the help of the public."

The Jerusalem Forest has been the site of abductions in the recent past.

Mohammed Abu Khder, a 16-year-old from the Arab neighborhood of Shuafat was abducted and murdered on July 2. His body was found burned to death in the Jerusalem Forest.

The main suspect in the murder said it was an act of revenge for the abduction and murder of Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16) and Eyal Yifrah (19) by Hamas terrorists on June 12, who were buried a day before Abu Khder's murder.

Terrorism has been on the rise in Jerusalem in recent weeks, with shooting attacks, firebomb attacks, and even a tractor attack that killed one.

The steady rise comes as senior Palestinian Authority (PA) official Jibril Rajoub two weeks ago declared that his organization has made a "political decision" to support Arab terrorists "slaughtering" Jews living in Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem, giving a free hand to terror.