Man dies in plunge off cliff in Negev when trying to save son
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Man dies in plunge off cliff in Negev when trying to save son

Father named as university lecturer Omri Nir, who jumped after 10-year-old when he slipped during climb; child in serious condition

Rescue personnel at the scene of an accident in Nahal Tze'elim in the Negev on December 9, 2016, in which a university lecturer died trying to save his son as he fell from a cliff. (Arad Rescue Team via Channel 10)
Rescue personnel at the scene of an accident in Nahal Tze'elim in the Negev on December 9, 2016, in which a university lecturer died trying to save his son as he fell from a cliff. (Arad Rescue Team via Channel 10)

An Israeli man died saving his 10-year-old son when the two fell off a cliff during a hike in the Nahal Tze’elim in the Negev on Friday. The boy was seriously injured in the accident.

The man was later named in the Hebrew media as Dr. Omri Nir, an expert in Lebanese history and politics from Moshav Kfar Vitkin in central Israel. Nir, who lectured at Tel Aviv University and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, is survived by his wife and three children.

According to the Ynet news site, the 10-year-old, Elai, slipped while climbing up a ladder attached to the side of the cliff, and his father jumped down to catch him. Dr. Nir managed to shield his son and absorb most of the blows while falling, but died as a result.

Firefighting crews along with a rescue team arrived at the scene from the southern city of Arad and evacuated the boy by helicopter to the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba, Ynet reported. The family was at the boy’s bedside on Friday night.

The rescue teams were assisted by the IDF Air Force’s special 669 unit.

The hike took place as part of a jeep tour. Another 21 people taking part in the tour, including 10 children, were in need of assistance in order to reach the top of the cliff. Of that number, at least nine children and three adults were taken from the area by the rescue teams.

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