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American Student Missing in Israel; Family Fears Abduction

Image: American Student Missing in Israel; Family Fears Abduction
A photograph of Aaron Sofer, 23, is nearby as people listen during a news conference in Lakewood, N.J. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 12:34 PM

The family of an American student missing for four days in Israel appealed to the Israeli and the United States governments to step up efforts to find him on Tuesday.

Aaron Sofer, 23, of Lakewood, New Jersey, went missing Friday while hiking with a friend in the Jerusalem forest. He was not found after a massive search over the weekend and his family fears he may have been abducted, according to WCAU-TV.

It was the abduction and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank by Hamas operatives over the summer that sparked the current conflict between Iserali and Hamas along the Gaza strip.

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"There's a sense that not enough was done from the very, very beginning and not enough attention was paid to the disappearance of Aaron," Dov Hikind, an Assemblyman from New York said Tuesday morning. "So what I want to say to the Israeli government, 'Treat Aaron as if he was an Israeli soldier missing.' Because we know what the Israeli government does when an Israeli soldier goes missing. Every resource in the world is put into it. And Aaron is a soldier."

Sofer's cousin Shlomo Sofer told FoxNews.com that he was disappointed in the initial search for his relative and believes the Israeli military should take over.

"What happened here is unknown, but it's pretty clear that he's not in the forest," Sofer, 40, told FoxNews.com. "Something is not quite right. We have every reason to assume that something hostile happened. Bottom line: Where is he?"

Shlomo Sofer said he told investigators there would have been no reason for his cousin to wander off, and he believes the matter is serious enough for military intervention, according to FoxNews.com.

"This is a young, American student who came to Israel to spend a year or two here," Shlomo Sofer told FoxNews.com. "And there's no reason to assume he has committed suicide or has done anything silly or immature. We feel they should be taking further measures in terms of investigating a possible abduction."

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The family of an American student missing for four days in Israel appealed to the Israeli and the United States governments to step up efforts to find him on Tuesday.
american, student, missing, israel
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2014-34-26
Tuesday, 26 Aug 2014 12:34 PM
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