Following the deaths of 10 Israeli teenagers who died on Thursday afternoon in a flash flood near the Dead Sea, US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman took to Twitter to offer his condolences on Friday.
The arrests come after nine girls and a boy were killed when a sudden flood swept them away while they were hiking in the Tzafit River, a riverbed in southern Israel near the Dead Sea, on Thursday. Police and army helicopters were among almost 700 people who searched for the missing until nightfall, when the search was halted, Haaretz reported.
The victims were part of a group of 25 students who had been accepted to the Bnei Zion pre-military academy in Tel Aviv for the coming year, and were on a hike organised by the school, The Times of Israel reports. "I ask you all, please follow the instructions of the police and rescue forces and be attentive to them", his statement read. Rescue teams are scheduled to be redeployed on Friday morning.
Police and army helicopters are searching for the missing.
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a "disaster" and said he was being updated regularly by those conducting the search.
Police spokeswoman Meirav Lapidot told reporters before the announcement of the dead teens, "We will keep going until we find them all. We embrace, with pain, the grieving families, and pray for the speedy recovery of the wounded".
Two Palestinian children also died from flooding in the West Bank, Haaretz reported, as the region has been lashed by intense spring rains. The main question being asked was why the group had chose to continue with the hike in an area known for flash floods.