Missing American found dead near Jerusalem

Aaron Sofer

Aaron Sofer

JERUSALEM — A body found in a Jerusalem-area forest is that of missing American Aaron Sofer, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said Thursday.

Forensics investigators were working to determine the cause of death, Rosenfeld said.

Sofer, 23, was reported missing Friday by a friend who was hiking with him.

On Monday, Sofer’s father, Moshe Zvi Sofer, joined police and hundreds of volunteers searching the forest outside Jerusalem where his son disappeared.

Sofer, a Yeshiva student, was studying in Israel.

Moshe Zvi Sofer traveled to Israel with his wife from their home in Lakewood, New Jersey, and the couple offered a 100,000 shekel (about $28,000) reward for whoever found their son, Sofer’s father said in a video posted online.

On Tuesday, Israel and Hamas announced that they had agreed to an open-ended cease-fire in the war that stemmed from the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank by Hamas operatives.

In an apparent revenge attack, right-wing Israeli Jews kidnapped and burned to death a young Palestinian boy near Jerusalem in early July.

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