Menu JTA Search

Missing Israeli Teen-agers May Have Hiked into Jordan

Two Jerusalem teen=agers on a hike in the Arava have been reported missing, and authorities fear they may have crossed the border into Jordan sometime last week.

Officials say the youths likely went to visit the ancient city of Petra in southern Jordan.

Hananel Shear-Yashuv and Lior Mizrahi, both 17, left their homes Aug. 26 for a hike in the Arava. Since both are experienced hikers, their families did not become concerned until the two failed to return in time for Shabbat. Both teens are from observant families.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing the teens get off a bus near Be’er Menucha, about 55 miles north of Eilat, where the bus was headed. Petra lies about 25 miles due east.

In ancient times, Petra was a center of caravan trade and served as the capital of the Edomites and Nabateans. The colorful citadel there, with well-preserved Nabatean, Greek and Roman tombs and temples carved into cliffs, has long attracted Israeli adventurers.

The site has recently been a popular destination for yeshiva students, who reportedly shave off their beards in order to look more like Western tourists.

NEXT STORY