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Searchers in Judean Wilderness Find Body of 1 of 2 Lost Brothers

The body of one of two missing Israeli brothers, who disappeared a week ago on a hike in the Judean wilderness, has been found at the bottom of a steep cliff.

It is believed that Ophir Leibowitz, the elder of the two brothers, slipped and fell some 300 feet down the side of a steep wadi. His brother Nahshon presumably tried to help Ophir using a first-aid kit and then continued on to seek outside help.

The elder brother’s army-issue rifle, which he had taken with him on the hike, was not found. The search continues for Nahshon.

Hundreds of soldiers, police and Nature Society volunteers have been carrying out extensive searches since the brothers left their Haifa home.

Their parents, Yisrael and Tzipporah Leibowitz, said Ophir, 21, was soon to complete his army service.

A keen and experienced hiker, Ophir said he was taking Nahshon, 18, who was just about to start his army service, on a map-reading and desert navigation exercise to prepare him for the army.

A canvas bag containing their maps and compasses was found shortly after the search began, showing where they had been.

In the following days a half-filled bottle of mineral water was found and an empty infusion bag, indicating that one of them had required medical treatment.

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