Israel says 9 teens died in flash floods

Israelis watch flooded water running through a valley blocking the main road along the Dead Sea in the Judean desert near the desert fortress of Masada north of Ein Bokek following heavy rainfall in the mountains

Israelis watch flooded water running through a valley blocking the main road along the Dead Sea in the Judean desert near the desert fortress of Masada north of Ein Bokek following heavy rainfall in the mountains

Twelve people have died, including two children, after heavy rains sparked flash floods in a number of areas across the West Bank and Israel.

Subsequently, the police arrested two members of staff and put a third under house arrest as investigations continued.

Of the nine teenagers who died, eight were women, according to Haaretz.

The heads of this particular pre-military academy (known in Hebrew as a mechina) have been arrested and are facing serious charges of criminal negligence.

A group of 25 students was hiking at the Tsafit stream in the Arava valley, near the Dead Sea when the area was hit by massive flooding.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement saying: "All of Israel laments in the awful tragedy that cut short the lives of ten young, wonderful people who had such promising futures".

Eventually, authorities announced on Thursday night that the bodies of the ten dead students were recovered and that they were all aged between 17 or 18.

Police said they would open an investigation into the incident to understand why the group proceeded with their hike in such intense weather conditions, the Times reported. "We send our condolences to the families of all the victims and pray for all those who are in mourning". Separately, Algeria announced six people lost their lives in the last 48 hours.

President Reuven Rivlin also said the nation is praying. We will strengthen and lend help to the forces who are now working to rescue, find and treat those injured. "I ask you all, please follow the instructions of the police and rescue forces and be attentive to them".

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