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15-year-old boy drowns in Judean Desert canyon stream; yeshiva head arrested

Army helicopter airlifts youth from Ein Prat to Jerusalem hospital, where doctors declare him dead

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

A view of the Wadi Qelt stream, in the Judean Desert in the West Bank on January 24, 2015. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)
A view of the Wadi Qelt stream, in the Judean Desert in the West Bank on January 24, 2015. (Yossi Zamir/Flash90)

A 15-year-old boy drowned Monday during a hike in the Ein Prat (Wadi Qelt) stream in the Judean Desert.

The teenager had jumped into water flowing through the desert canyon and it was only after several minutes that his companions realized he was missing and alerted police and rescue services, Channel 13 reported.

As medics worked to resuscitate the teen, an army helicopter brought him in critical condition to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Hospital in Ein Kerem, where doctors were unable to save his life

Magen David Adom paramedics said when they arrived at the scene it took them a while to find the teen. He was pulled from the water unconscious, not breathing and without a pulse after spending several minutes underwater.

Hadassah said in a statement that after the teenage arrived in the helicopter “intensive resuscitation efforts continued also in the trauma unit by Hadassah staff, but they were forced to declare him dead.”

A rabbi who heads the Jerusalem yeshiva where the boy studied was later arrested on suspicion of negligence in his death.

The Beterem child safety group said in a statement that over the past five years there were 102 fatal drownings of children, of which 29 were incidents involving teens aged 15-17.

Beterem CEO Orly Silbinger said that drowning is the second highest cause of death among children and that youngsters make up some 30 percent of drowning incidents, most of which happen in the sea or natural water sources.

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