BEIRUT

Middle East

Israel identifies body as missing American student

A forensic team member takes a picture near the place where the body of 23-year-old U.S. student Aaron Sofer was found next to Ein Karem village, near occupied Jerusalem, August 28, 2014. (REUTERS/Baz Ratner)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM: Israeli forensic investigators Friday identified a recently found body as that of a U.S. religious student who disappeared while hiking in occupied Jerusalem last week, Israeli police said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri said the body was confirmed early Friday morning to be that of seminary student Aharon Sofer.

"There is no suspicion of foul play," said Samri, meaning Sofer's death was not a militant attack or a criminal attack. She had no further details on how he died.

The body was found Thursday night in the same area where Sofer disappeared last week. The 23-year-old Sofer, of Lakewood, New Jersey, had been hiking with a friend in a hilly, forested area on the outskirts of Jerusalem.

Sofer was an ultra-Orthodox student at a yeshiva, a Jewish religious school, named for its founder Rabbi Tzvi Kaplan.

Sofer's parents had flown to Israel to assist with the search.

 

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