Severe weather that battered Israel on Thursday claimed a life of a 27-year-old goat herder who drowned in a flash flood near a Bedouin village in northern Israel.
Majd Qassem Su’ad from the village of Sallama, located near the northern city of Karmiel, left his house at around 6 am to secure the gate to his goat pen near Tzelmon River. When he failed to return home, his family contacted the police and told them that he was missing.
Police forces, along with police helicopters and fire fighters, were called in order to locate Majd, whose vehicle was found near the river.
He was found unconscious several hours later inside the stream and transported to the Ziv Medical Center in Safed, where he was declared dead shortly after his arrival.
Su’ad worked as a bus driver in central Israel. He is survived by a wife and a young daughter.
Muhammad, Su’ad's brother, died seven years ago in a car related accident near the Arab town of Rameh in northern Israel.
"The family is having a hard time," said a member of Su'ad's family. "It's not easy going through two tragedies."
In the meantime, rescue teams continue searching for 14-year-old Omri Abu Ganab from the Druze village of Yarka.
He disappeared after him and a 23-year-old friend tried crossing a powerful stream on an ATV, which appears to have overturned. Rescue forces located the all-terrain vehicle as well as the friend who had been rescued and taken to a nearby hospital.
One official from National Fire & Rescue Authority said the divers are still at the scene of the teen’s disappearance, fearing he might be trapped underwater.
"We are dealing with a very low temperature, to the extent that our teams may be susceptible to hypothermia," he said. "Stormy weather should be treated accordingly, it’s unbelievable that we’re seeing ATVs, motorcycles and all kinds of jeeps trying to cross rivers and streams here."
Israel was hit by widespread flooding on Wednesday evening as a wave of torrential downpours and strong gusts swept through the country.
Particularly heavy rainfall was recorded in the Western Galilee, the Golan Heights, and the Upper Galilee.
Some areas have experienced continuous cloudbursts since Wednesday afternoon, with rainfall measurements reaching a staggering 140 mm in the northern city of Ma'alot-Tarshiha within about 24 hours. The Sea of Galilee reportedly rose by 6 cm within 24 hours, 4.5 cm of which during the night, setting the world's lowest sweet water lake's elevation level at 211.765 meters below sea level.
First published: 21:32 , 12.26.19