Body of Fourth Israeli Tourist Found in Nepal

Michal Cherkesky's family had been 'praying for a miracle', but six days after she went missing their worst fears have been realized.

Ari Soffer, | updated: 12:17

Michal Cherkesky
Michal Cherkesky
Courtesy of the family

The body of a fourth Israeli killed in last week's deadly avalanche in Nepal has been identified by search and rescue teams.

36-year-old Michal Cherkesky of Givatayim was missing for six days before her body was discovered Monday morning. Her family had told reporters they were "praying for a miracle", and that they feared she was stranded without aid supplies or communications equipment at 5,000 meters (approximately 16,000 feet) high along the mountain pass.

Tragically, that miracle did not come, and Israeli special forces working with the Nepalese army discovered her body this morning.

Reacting to the news, Chani Lifshitz, whose husband runs Chabad's center in Kathmandu which has been helping provide for the injured, expressed the sense of grief many were feeling at the discovery.

"This morning we were informed of the discovery of precious Michal's body. Until now we still had great hope that she would be found alive," she said.

With that, however, Lifshitz said there was also a sense of relief that Michal's body would not be left stranded in the open, and would at least be buried with dignity back in Israel shortly.

She said the Chabad Center was trying to help comfort the Cherkesky family at such a difficult time.

"We merited to spend Michal's last days with her, and we saw her happy and joyful on her trip. We will always remember her like that," she said.

As mentioned, Michal's death brings the number of Israelis killed in the disaster to four.

The other three Israeli casualties are Nadav Shoham of Mitzpe Hoshaya; Agam Luria, 23, of Kibbutz Yifat; and Lt. Tamar Ariel, 25, of Masuot Yitzchak - Israel's first religious female air force navigator.

The death-toll has climbed steadily since hikers were caught off-guard by a sudden blizzard in the Himalayan Mountains. At least 40 people have been killed in total, making it the worst hiking disaster in Nepal's history.

Scores more were left injured - some severely - and the number of fatalities is expected to rise, as recovery efforts make slow progress, hindered by the extreme conditions.