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Monday 22nd September 2014
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Missing US Student Found Dead In Israel

Friday, 29th August 2014 00:20

Israeli police say they do not suspect a criminal motive in the death of an American student whose body has been found near a forest in Jerusalem.

Aaron Sofer went missing a week ago while walking in the woods close to the Yad Vashem Holocaust Museum.

The body of the 23-year-old religious student from New Jersey was found after an extensive search by police and volunteers.

Police have refused to release any details on the condition of Mr Sofer's body, or any possible clues surrounding the circumstances of his death.

But police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

"Following a forensic examination, the body ... was identified as that of missing person Aaron Sofer," Mr Rosenfeld said.

"Tests showed that no criminal act was committed and the body will be transferred to the family in the coming hours."

Mr Sofer had been hiking with a friend when the pair became separated.

Investigators expressed concern at the time that Mr Sofer may have fallen victim to an attack by Palestinian militants.

Three Israeli seminary students were kidnapped in June while hitch-hiking in the occupied West Bank, around 20 miles south of Jerusalem.

They were later found dead. The leader of Palestinian group Hamas, Khaled Meshaal, denied those in charge of the organisation had any knowledge of the killings.

In an apparent revenge attack, right-wing Israeli Jews kidnapped and burned to death a young Palestinian boy near Jerusalem in early July.