Monday 19 August 2019

Israeli army says body of soldier found in West Bank

It did not identify the soldier by name but said he was a student in a military seminary.

Israeli troops secure the area where a body of a soldier with stab wounds was found (Mahmoud Illean/AP)
Israeli troops secure the area where a body of a soldier with stab wounds was found (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

By Ilan Ben Zion, Associated Press

The body of an Israeli soldier has been found with stab wounds near a West Bank settlement south of Jerusalem, the military said.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denounced the killing as a terrorist attack and pledged to bring the perpetrator to justice.

According to an army statement, Israeli troops and police officers were searching the area near the Etzion settlement bloc where the body was found in the “early morning hours”.

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Israeli troops secure the area (Mahmoud Illean/AP)

Israeli troops entered the nearby Palestinian village of Beit Fajar as part of the search.

Army spokesman Lt Col Jonathan Conricus said that the soldier was a student in a pre-military Jewish seminary programme and was neither armed nor in uniform.

He said the military was investigating the circumstances of his death.

The soldier was later identified as 19-year-old Dvir Sorek, from the West Bank settlement of Ofra.

His remains were found near the military seminary where he studied in the West Bank.

Rabbi Shlomo Wilk, head of the yeshiva where Mr Sorek studied, told Israel Radio that the student had gone to Jerusalem to buy presents for the school’s faculty.

Rabbi Wilk said Mr Sorek had called a friend and said he would return on time.

“When he was late, we started to worry,” Rabbi Wilk said.

“Fairly quickly we understood that something wasn’t right and we got the police involved.”

Mr Netanyahu issued a statement saying that security forces were “in pursuit now in order to capture the despicable terrorist and bring him to account”.

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin offered his condolences and said the security forces were “pursuing the murderers and will not rest until we find them.”

“Our prayers this morning are with the family of the murdered soldier and our hearts grieve for the life cut short,” Mr Rivlin said.

“We fight terrorism without compromise to ensure the security of our people.”

Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war.

The Palestinians claim the territories as part of a future state.

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