Israeli backpacker found dead in New Zealand


SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — The body of an Israeli backpacker missing in New Zealand has been found.

Ohad Dotan, 26, was identified Wednesday after his body was airlifted from Mount Cook by a rescue team, according to the Chabad Web site.

It is believed he was walking alone Tuesday, strayed off the track and fell 200 meters — about 650 feet — onto a rock ledge, according to staff at the national park.

Mendel Goldstein, the Chabad rabbi in Christchurch, on the south island, said Dotan was expected at Shabbat dinner this week.

“He was friendly with several of the rabbinical students here and was planning to come back for Shabbat,” Goldstein told the Chabad News Web site. “We’re devastated. My heart goes out to his family and friends.”

Goldstein protested against an autopsy, which is prohibited by Jewish law, but the coroner proceeded Wednesday.

Dotan’s body is scheduled to be flown to Israel for burial Thursday.

Last year, another Israeli backpacker, Liat Okin, died while trekking in New Zealand.

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