JERUSALEM (JTA) — An 18-year-old student was found stabbed to death in the Etzion settlement bloc.
He was reported missing on Wednesday evening, hours after he had said he was returning from a shopping trip to Jerusalem. His body was found at about 3 a.m. on Thursday on a road leading to the Migdal Oz settlement where he attended a seminary. It is believed that he was killed in a different location and his body moved. His cellphone had been found earlier near a different Etzion bloc settlement, according to reports.
The teen, who has not yet been identified, was part of the Hesder program, which combines yeshiva studies and army service. His family has been notified, the Israel Defense Forces said in a statement. He was not in uniform at the time of his death and had not yet begun his military training, though the IDF is calling him a soldier.
The IDF is treating the murder as a terrorist attack.
No Palestinian groups as yet have claimed responsibility.
His body was found near the spot where three Israeli teens were kidnapped and murdered in June 2014.
He was returning to his school in the Migdal Oz settlement after a visit to Jerusalem to purchase gifts for his rabbis, the head of his seminary told Army Radio in an interview, and reportedly was found holding the books that he had purchased.
“Security forces are in pursuit of the lowly terrorist with the purpose of catching him and bringing him to account,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement.
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