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Searches for Yeshiva Boy, Teenage Girl Continue

The police are still baffled at the disappearance of two youths in the north in separate incidents - and hundreds of volunteers continue to search for each of them.
First Publish: 8/5/2003, 10:05 AM

The Searches Continue (def /sec)
The police are still baffled at the disappearance of two youths in the north - and hundreds of volunteers continue to search for each of them. Donna Benet, 19, has not been seen since Thursday night when she got out of a taxi in Tiberias, and the last time Alexander Zusia Klockhoft was seen was after Sunday morning prayers at the gravesite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in the Galilee town of Meiron.

The police say they have no evidence linking the disappearances to terrorists, but neither do they have any other explanation. There have been three, and possibly a fourth, terrorist abduction or attempted abduction in the north in the past few weeks. The most famous case was that of a 20-year-old soldier from Nazareth Illit who was murdered after being kidnapped in a junction west of Tiberias two weeks ago. In addition, a soldier from Yokne'am reported that he was nearly forced into a car, and a youth from the Golan reported the same. A fourth report is under investigation.

Family members of Donna Benet say that it would be totally out of character for her to disappear on her own without informing anyone. On the other hand, it is possible that Alexander Zusia was not kidnapped, but might not even be aware that he is being searched for, and may be in a yeshiva. The police are asking members of the hassidic community to be particularly alert to his presence.

Many citizens continue to volunteer to join the searches, and the police say that more are needed.