Massive Search for Soldier Continues

— A massive search for an Israeli soldier missing since Feb. 16 continued for the sixth day Thursday.

Nearly 5,000 soldiers, border police and civilian volunteers are combing southern Israel from the coast to the Judean hills.

So far, they have not found a clue to the fate of Sgt. Avi Sasportas of Ashdod. The paratroop medic was last seen a week ago at a road junction near Gaza, trying to hitch a ride home.

His family met Wednesday with Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin, Chief of Staff Dan Shomron and Gen. Amram Mitzna, commander of the central region, which includes the search area.

The family was assured the search would continue undiminished.

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