Police raid Tel Aviv pre-military academy

Police raid academy after a hike organized by the institution ended with ten high school students dead.

Tzvi Lev,

Police at Bnei Tzion academy
Police at Bnei Tzion academy
Flash 90

Police raided the Bnei Tzion pre-army preparatory academy in Tel Aviv on Sunday as part of their ongoing investigation into the fatal hike last week organized by the institution that ended with the drowning of ten teenage participants.

Police confiscated computers, documents, and other material relevant to the ongoing investigation whether the Bnei Tzion pre-military academy's decision to depart on the hike despite flood warnings constituted negligent homicide.

Ten of the twenty-five teenage participants died during the hike, which took place during a storm in an area prone to flooding. Army prep schools offer Israeli teens graduating from high school the opportunity to spend a year preparing for their mandatory military service.

The raid comes as police continue to examine the series of errors that led to the doomed trip at the Nahal Zafit canyon in southern Israel.

Bnei Tzion headmaster Yuval Kahan and counselor Aviv Berditchev were arrested shortly after the drowning and will be held until Tuesday. Police have appointed a special task force under the command of Police Commander Yossi Turjeman to investigate the circumstances leading up to the fatal hike.

According to reports Saturday night, police are examining whether the organizers of the trip had lied to the students regarding the safety of the hike. Numerous reports also said that one of the academy's guides had repeatedly warned senior staff that the hike was unsafe after speaking to her father, who is deputy head of the Search and Rescue unit in the region which the students perished.

Immediately after the tragedy, Police Spokesperson Meirav Lapidot had blamed the Bnei Tzion staff for ignoring the flash flood warnings that it had disseminated. "The group of youths went on a trip to Nahal Tzafit despite our repeated warnings not to travel in the southern valleys," Lapidot told the Reshet Bet radio station.

"It's a terrible tragedy and it's easy to avoid such disasters. All you have to do is listen to instructions," she added. "We are issuing many warnings all the time, and it is unfortunate that we have reached this situation."




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