Hundreds of Israelis made their way to the Meron area this morning to take part in the ongoing search for Moshe Kleinerman, a sixteen-year-old boy from Modi’in Ilit who disappeared near Meron approximately ninety days ago. The search effort was focused on the most inaccessible parts of the region, including caves, thick brush, caverns, pits, and other likely spots where a person could be concealed.
The Israel Dog Unit (IDU), a nonprofit specializing in locating missing persons that has been coordinating the search efforts, reported that along with its eponymous canine teams, it was using proprietary incident management software to document the search efforts, analyze the remaining territory, and direct other forces to where they were needed “In full cooperation and coordination with the other units involved.”
IDU director Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov told Ynet ‘Our last lead is the tomb of R. Shimon Bar Yochai Meron. We hope that the considerable effort and the number of searchers will bring results.”
The case has drawn considerable attention from Israel’s political scene over the past week, including a special meeting of the Knesset Public Security Committee to address concerns that the Israel Police had not devoted sufficient effort to the matter and sharp critiques from various MKs and media personalities.
Giti Kleinerman, the mother of the missing teen, commented “The IDU has gone above and beyond, searching daily, but we need the power of the public to press for the police to join the search. They have the manpower, the techniques, the technology. They found terrorists in a few days, they found Sapir Nahum in a few days, and now an Israeli boy has gone missing for more than eighty days in a row and they can only say ‘we don’t have a lead.’ Does that sound sensible to you?
A statement from the Israel Police explained that a range of advanced equipment and special units had joined in the search, including Border Police, rescue squads, ATVs, UAVs, mounted officers, canine teams, and a police helicopter.
David Meir, speaking for the Galilee-West Carmel Rescue Unit, told Ynet that “We have been working on this for some time already, spending hours both out in the field and on analyzing the maps. We began with a certain assumption, which has been refuted; then on to another, and another. At the moment, we have sizeable forces in the field, filling in all the gaps in the search so far.
Multiple individuals and organizations from both Israel and abroad have offered cash prizes for information leading to his safe return, with the sum of the rewards reaching above 150,000 ILS. Anyone with relevant information is requested to contact the Israel Police at 100 or the Israel Dog Unit’s search and rescue hotline at 0544876709.
IDU volunteers analyzing a map of the search
Flier distributed as part of the search effort