IDU team searching near Haifa
IDU team searching near HaifaIDU Public Relations

The Israel Dog Unit, a nonprofit specializing in search and rescue, is carrying on an extensive search in the nature preserve near the village of Ein Hod in the Haifa region for Itamar Shlizinger. Shlizinger, a 33-year-old man, was last seen in the evening hours of September 22.

Residents of the town report that Shlizinger was involved in a car accident inside the town, after which he fled the scene by driving towards the town gate, which was closed at the time. The residents reported having pursued his vehicle and seen it strike the gate and roll. Searchers are still working to determine the sequence of events following the rollover.

During the search, a hostile altercation developed between the searchers and representatives of the town. The residents claim the collision was an act of terror against the Arab community in which the accident occurred, and that the search effort is an attempt to conceal, or even continue, the attack on the residents.

A group of local residents insisted on remaining near the search command center to monitor the progress of the search. Search teams were given specific instructions to avoid contact with local residents in light of the community sensitivity surrounding the incident.

Shlizinger is considered to be in mortal danger, both due to the inherent dangers of the forest in which the search is taking place and the tensions surrounding the incident.