By Arye Green/TPS • 18 August, 2019
Aya Na’amana, a 21-year-old Israeli student, on Sunday was found dead in Ethiopia’s Danakil Desert. Na’amana went missing while hiking through the salt desert with a group on Saturday morning.
Search teams were dispatched throughout the trail, and her body was found the next day. Israel’s Foreign Ministry stated that it was in touch with “Ethiopian authorities, army and government officials of the highest degree.” The statement added that the search party included police and army forces as well as local volunteers. Drones and helicopters were used to find the missing student.
The search teams eventually found her body in the desert. According to the statement, she most likely fell from a cliff. “The Foreign Ministry shares the family’s grief, and is helping to transport Aya’s body to be buried in Israel as soon as possible,” the statement concluded.
The Danakil salt plains are notorious and dangerously hot. The desert has been called the “cruelest place on Earth” by National Geographic, reaching temperatures as high as 50 Cº.
Na’amana was in Ethiopia as part of a trip with her fellow students at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. The students had previously attended a month-long academic course with other international students in the city of Mekelle. They stayed a few extra days to hike and travel, and that is when Na’amana was killed during a hike.