Israel flash flood kills nine hikers

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Correspondence between several girls who were killed in the flood.

TheTimes of Israel reported the victims as being Ilan Bar Shalom, Shani Shamir, Agam Levy, Romi Cohen, Tzur Alfi, Ella Or, Gali Balali, Maayan Barhum, Adi Raanan, and Yael Sadan.

Workplaces conversations and all the leading headlines are focused on a single, tragic event - the deaths of 10 Israeli teenagers last Thursday when they were swept away in a flash flood near the southern end of the Dead Sea.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a statement: "All of Israel laments in the awful tragedy that cut short the lives of ten young, wonderful people who had such promising futures".

Nine of the teenagers' bodies were recovered, officials said, after torrential rains swept over an area that is usually arid and dry.

The 17- and 18-year-olds of the Bnei Zion Academy, a pre-military school in Tel Aviv, were on a "bonding trip" ahead of the start of the program, slated to begin in September. "I hope they will all soon be able to get back to their families and friends".

"These students were really the highest quality of our society", Glick told reporters.

A Palestinian teenage girl drowned in the West Bank town of Bethlehem, medics said.

According to the Israel National News website, an email sent by a staff member to a concerned student before the hike said: "Do not worry".

Another student said she believed the organizers "have some sense and will take you to other places". The one who wrote "We will die, I am serious", died.

The floods also claimed the lives of two children from Israel's Bedouin community who were washed away in separate torrents on Wednesday.