Photo Credit: Yaakov Lederman / Flash 90
View of the Eilat mountains, southern Israel, on April 12, 2018.

The body of a 20-year-old U.S. man was recovered from a ravine in the Eilat mountains on Sunday by the IDF 669 search and rescue unit in an hours-long operation, according to Hebrew media.

Although it is not yet fully clear, police said it appears the man slipped while hiking the trail, plummeting down the rock face. His body was taken to the Abu Kabir Forensic Medicine Institute to confirm identification and to deepen the investigation into the circumstances of his death.

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The search for the hiker, who was not identified to media, began Saturday night when he did not return from his hike on Mount Shlomo, described on the Negev Trails website as “one of the most difficult yet rewarding trails in Israel,” – an 11 kilometer (seven mile) hike of about six to seven hours’ duration.)

The family has been notified about the tragedy, police said.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.