The body of Or Asraf, the last missing Israeli following last week’s earthquake in Nepal, was found by a ZAKA rescue team and friends from his IDF unit.
The search for Or Asraf, the last missing Israeli following the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, ended on Sunday with the discovery of his body along the Langtang Ridge. Asraf’s comrades from the IDF’s elite Egoz unit are participating in a complex operation to retrieve the 22-year-old’s body.
Asraf’s father, Patrick, confirmed that the young man’s army comrades were working to bring his body to the nearest Nepalese village so that it can be brought back to Israel for burial. “His friends, all 20 people, are walking through a very dangerous area — now it’s dark and the danger is very great, rocks are flying and the life of every person there is at risk.”
Following the discovery, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Patrick Asraf to offer his condolences. “We did our utmost to find Or but we hoped for a different outcome. This is the State of Israel’s obligation to Or, a heroic soldier who fought for the security of Israel’s citizens. I share in your family’s deep sorrow,” he said.
President Reuven Rivlin issued a statement saying, “The terrible news of Or Asraf’s death is heartbreaking. The mobilization of search and rescue forces, and the loyal support of his army comrades in the search, instilled within us great hope. It was the prayer of an entire nation that he would be found alive and well. My sympathies go out to his family after this difficult and tragic loss.”
Asraf’s body was identified by his friends, who had joined the Israeli rescue team. Formal identification, however, will only be made once the body reaches the capital of Nepal, Kathmandu.
The family issued a statement thanking the Israeli government for its efforts.
Israeli rescue teams in Nepal will continue their work to find survivors of the earthquake and provide them with medical care.