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Searches For Missing Youths Continue

The search continued this morning for a 21-year-old American yeshiva student, Eliezer Zusia who has been missing since yesterday morning. The search for missing Tiberias teenager Donna Bennet also resumed this morning.
First Publish: 8/3/2003, 10:25 AM


The search continued this morning for a 21-year-old American yeshiva student, Eliezer Zusia - grandson of the late Skulener Rebbe of the same name - who has been missing since yesterday morning. He was last seen at the site of the Tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in the Galilee. The search efforts are concentrating in the Meiron and Tzfat (Safed) areas.

Around 7 AM yesterday, after morning prayers, Eliezer's three friends noticed that he was not in the area, which was crowded with tens of thousands of worshipers. They searched for him throughout the day, but by nightfall, they notified the police in Tzfat. Tzfat Police Chief Amir Aharon said that dozens of police and volunteers immediately began searching the area, and that Eliezer's picture has been publicized in public places. Police describe him as having a "hareidi" appearance, with a hat, black suit, glasses, and peiot (sidecurls), and standing 1.60 meters tall.

At the same time, the search for missing Tiberias teenager Donna Bennet also resumed this morning. She disappeared on Thursday night on the way to her uncle's home after she completed her shift in a local restaurant. Over 1,000 police and volunteers took part in search efforts on Sunday. No clues have as yet been uncovered.

Israel's northern areas are basically on a terrorist kidnapping alert, with both citizens and soldiers considered "fair" targets. The police have deployed special units to try to foil attempted abductions, but emphasize that both citizens and soldiers must be particularly cautious when standing at bus stops and the like. The IDF has re-issued orders banning soldiers from accepting unauthorized rides.

Other abductions in recent weeks in the north include the murder of soldier Oleg Shchaiat; the attempted abduction of a soldier near Yokne'am; and the attempted kidnapping of an 18-year-old boy in the Golan this past Saturday night.