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Israeli expat kidnapped in Ecuador is rescued

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(JTA) — An Israeli-American man who was kidnapped while hiking in the Amazon rainforest in Ecuador reportedly was rescued.

Mickey Grossman, 64, a Yom Kippur War veteran, allegedly was captured Sunday by 15 armed gunmen whose affiliation is unclear, as well as several members of the Huaorani Tribe, near Yasuni National Park, which reportedly is an unfriendly area to foreigners.

While the identity of the rescuers remains unknown, the rescue team used advanced satellite equipment to trace his exact location.

Grossman’s wife, Noga, told Ynet that two people in an oil company’s car arrived at the camp where Grossman and his team were being held late Monday night. The rescuers reportedly went in to talk to the Indians and whispered to Mickey in English that he had to be prepared to be extracted at 4 a.m.

"I didn’t believe he was rescued until I spoke to him on the satellite phone," Noga Grossman said, according to Ynet. "It was a sigh of relief."

Grossman, who moved to Florida from Israel some 20 years ago, embarked on an Amazon trek more than three months ago in an effort to raise awareness of the destruction of rainforests, whose plants have yielded a variety of medications, including the cancer drugs that saved his own life a few years ago, Ynet reported.

Despite having lost a major part of his equipment to the Indians, Noga Grossman told Ynet that he intends to continue with his journey.

"He still has the most important equipment, the electronic equipment, which is imperative for the rest of the journey," she said in the Ynet report. "Mickey is annoyed but is going ahead. That’s his nature, he won’t stop now."
 

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