Israeli traveler missing in Egypt’s Sinai, police say

Aviv Slobodkin, 26, has been traveling in Egypt since September 4, and was last heard from on Sunday while en route to the restive peninsula

Aviv Slobodkin. (Israel Police)
Aviv Slobodkin. (Israel Police)

An Israeli man has gone missing in Egypt and is believed to be somewhere in the Sinai Peninsula, the Israel Police said Thursday.

Aviv Slobodkin, 26, has been traveling throughout Egypt and the restive Sinai region, which borders Israel to the south, since September 4.

He was last heard from on Sunday, and his current whereabouts are unknown.

The peninsula has seen an Islamist uprising against the Egyptian government in recent years, and is home to a branch of the Islamic State jihadist group. In the past, some Bedouin clans engaged in human trafficking and mass kidnappings for ransom in the center of the peninsula.

Recent Israeli government travel advisories have urged Israelis to avoid the area, but thousands still vacation at popular tourist resorts and beaches on the peninsula’s southern and eastern coasts.

Slobodkin’s sister Marina posted on Facebook Thursday that the family lost touch with Aviv on Sunday, when he was either in Cairo or the town of Farafra in Egypt’s western desert. He planned to head to Sinai next, she said.

Illustrative: Israelis enjoy a holiday on the beach of Paradis Sweir, a desert resort located on the Red Sea shore, South Sinai, Egypt, during the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, October 15, 2016. (Johanna Geron/Flash90)

Police are asking the public for help in locating Slobodkin.

The Foreign Ministry said Thursday it was also looking into the disappearance.

“The Department for Israelis Overseas in the Foreign Ministry’s Consular Division, and Israel’s consul in Cairo, Dudu Ben Kalifa, are aware of the details and are working with the relevant local authorities,” the ministry said in a statement.

There was no comment from Egyptian authorities on the disappearance.

Slobodkin was described by police as 1.7 meters (5’7″) tall, with a medium, muscular build, curly dark hair, bearded and wearing glasses. His sister gave his height at 1.75 meters (5’9″).

Anyone in Israel with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the police emergency hotline, 100, or the Beersheba police department at 08-646-2744/5.

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