The Israel Dog Unit (IDU), a nonprofit specializing in search and rescue, together with the IDF's 'Eitan' unit for locating missing persons, undertook a special search operation yesterday to mark 150 days since 16-year-old Avraham Moshe 'Moishe Kleinerman vanished from the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in the Meron area.
The search took place in the uncleared land around Meron and focused on particularly dense areas of brush and thorns.
The IDU worked shoulder to shoulder with reservist soldiers from 'Eitan', an IDF unit specializing in locating missing persons.
IDU volunteers have led the searches until this point and coordinated the participation of other units and services with proprietary incident management software developed specifically to track which areas have already been searched. The IDF's involvement is intended to reinforce the number of searchers actively pursuing the case.
The IDF's involvement comes after an announcement by the Kleinerman family, reported by Maariv, that Sports Minister Hili Tropper, who visited the family recently, had personally requested that Defense Minister Benny Gantz order the IDF to take part in the search. There has been no word so far whether the ISA will heed the calls for their involvement in the search effort.
Police have so far arrested at least five suspects in connection with the case, all of whom have since been released from custody. Only one name was cleared for publication: 35-year-old Solomon Abrahamov, whose attorney categorically denies his involvement in the case and called the arrest "An attempt by police to hide their own shortcomings in the search." Further details of the police's investigation have been sealed by court order as part of an ongoing investigation into a nationalist crime.
Hundreds of volunteers have taken part in the search thus far through multiple cities in Israel, including numerous undeveloped areas and even inside parts of the Palestinian Authority where Moishe was known to frequent. Concerned citizens have posted a reward of at least 100,000 ILS (approximately 30,000 USD) for information that would lead searchers to the missing teen.
IDU director Yekutiel Ben-Yaakov commented: "We congratulate the IDF for its willingness to assist in the search. We all hope that this significant reinforcement will yield results. The cooperation between the IDF and the IDU increases everyone's capabilities."