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Officials: Missing Israeli found near Jericho

Dec. 7, 2010 11:58 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 8, 2010 6:19 P.M.)
JERICHO (Ma’an) – An Israeli man reported missing Monday night near Jericho was found by Israeli forces, Palestinian security sources said Tuesday.

The circumstances of the case remained unclear, with sources saying only that the man was handed over to to Israeli police, who started an investigation into the case.

Palestinian sources said they believed a financial dispute was behind the disappearance.

The search began late in the evening, when Israel's Coordination Office for Government Activities in the Territories told Palestinian officials that an Israeli man had gone missing in the Jericho region, and said the area would be cordoned off for a search.

The man's car, officials said, was discovered near An-Nabi Musa's Tomb just outside of Jericho city. Shortly after the discovery, the area was declared a closed military zone, officials said.

Acting governor of Jericho and the Jordan Valley Majid Fityani said PA police were instructed to stay clear of the area, normally under Palestinian control as part of "Area A". Until that point, he said, Palestinian forces had been checking the area for the man.

According to Israeli officials, he said, the missing man was a resident of the Negev region, a civilian and not a member of the military.

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