A missing IDF soldier from the IDF’s elite combat “Satyeret Matkal” unit was found alive and well around midnight Thursday. The 21 year-old fighter had returned to his Ashkelon coastal community home in Kochav Michael, said a spokesperson for the Hof Ashkelon Regional Council.
The circumstances of the soldier’s disappearance are as of yet unknown, but he apparently had been bothered by personal prolems during a grueling 13-mile march and training exercise in a forest between Jerusalem and Be’er Sheba, according to his comrades.
He was missing since the pre-dawn hours after his unit participated in a training exercise. The soldier was last seen at 4:00 A.M. His commanders immediatey called off the exercise and decided to begin the search for him when he failed to make it to a pre-determined gathering place. Hundreds of soldiers, backed by helicopters, combed the area for the missing comrade.
Kidnapping or a terrorist operation had not been ruled out but had been discounted, based on soldiers’ comments that the soldier was under heavy stress. He had said during the exercise that it was extremely difficult for him.