Body of missing Israeli found in Ukraine

Amir Ohana, 28, was found in a river in Uman, Ukraine after he was reported as missing last week.

September 19, 2015 20:17
2 minute read.
Israeli Uman

28-year-old Israeli, Amir Ohana, missing in Uman. (photo credit: FACEBOOK)

A body identified as that of an Israeli missing since Tuesday in Ukraine, has been found, both ZAKA rescue and recovery organization and the Foreign Ministry independently confirmed Saturday evening.

Amir Ohana, a 28-year-old father of three from Holon, who was known to have epilepsy, disappeared Tuesday morning when he headed into a forest outside of the city of Uman with a friend to meditate. When his friend was unable to locate him, he reported Ohana as a missing person to both local and Israeli police. Area police began combing the forest and searching the river going through the city.

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Every year, the small city attracts tens of thousands of hassidic pilgrims looking to pray over the High Holy Days at the grave of the 18th-century hassid, Rabbi Nahman of Breslov.

On Saturday, Ohana’s body was discovered by ZAKA in the river “in full Shabbat clothing except for his shoes and socks, indicating that he was sitting on the side paddling his feet when he must have had an epileptic fit and fallen in,” ZAKA’s Yossi Frankel told The Jerusalem Post.

“We are now working with all our connections to have the body released and brought to Israel as soon as possible,” he added.

ZAKA’s search team included dogs, a drone and almost 100 volunteers from among the Breslov hassidic pilgrims.

According to a Foreign Ministry spokesman, the beefed-up Israeli diplomatic delegation that was sent to Uman to provide consular services for the large influx of Israelis who go each year, worked together with the local authorities and local police, as well as 15 Israeli police who are there, to search for him.

The search teams included divers to search the local lake, and squads with sniffing dogs to scour the forest. In addition, Israeli diplomats checked in with local hospitals.

Ohana’s wife has been notified, the Foreign Ministry confirmed shortly after Shabbat.

Immediately learning of his disappearance, she took to Facebook to pray for his return.

“Amir my love, my heart goes out to you in prayer,” she wrote. “Come back to me. To all who see this message, pray for my husband.”

In a statement issued just after the end of Shabbat, representatives of Breslov in Uman thanked all of those who aided in search efforts and especially ZAKA, which it said went “above and beyond” in their efforts.

“May God console the family and relatives among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.”

Herb Keinon and Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this report.

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