TEL AVIV (Dec. 15)
The body of a soldier was found in the Yarkon River last Friday more than 15 miles from where a flash flood swept his truck into a dry stream bed that had become a raging torrent during fierce rainstorms on Dec. 3.
The remains of Sgt. Maj. Natan Russo, 38, of Kfar Sava were retrieved with much difficulty hours after soldiers spotted it from a bridge over the Wadi Ayalon between Tel Aviv and Ben-Gurion Airport.
The fast-flowing stream, swollen by a fresh rainstorm, carried the body into the Yarkon River north of Tel Aviv, where army helicopters lowered two divers in an attempt to retrieve it.
The flood waters threatened to sweep it out to sea, where the Yarkon enters the Mediterranean. But the body was pulled ashore after it caught on the overhanging branches of trees standing in fields where the river had overflowed its banks.
The body of Russo’s companion, Cpl. Amir Shabbi, 19, of Ramat Gan, was discovered a day after he drowned. Searchers believe Russo’s body was caught and concealed by debris not far from where his truck overturned until it was loosened by the new storm and carried downstream.