Extreme heat kills Israeli soldier, sends 8 citizens to hospital

Julie Wiener

(JTA) — An extreme heat wave in Israel that began Sunday has caused the death of an 18-year-old soldier, while sending eight civilians, including a toddler, to the hospital.

Pvt Dan Sela of the northern city Afula died in Jerusalem Tuesday after collapsing from heat stroke during an educational tour of the Old City, the Times of Israel reported. Although the temperature in Jerusalem was 95 degrees Fahrenheit, the humidity was almost 40 percent, and Sela’s body temperature had reached 107 degrees.

Meanwhile, hikers in the West Bank area of Wadi Qelt and in the foothills of Mount Carmel, near Haifa, had to be rescued because they were suffering from dehydration.

According to Haaretz, the temperatures in most parts of the country Tuesday were slightly lower than the previous day, but humidity was dramatically higher. Areas experiencing the highest temperatures Tuesday were the Hula Valley (105.8 degrees F) in the north and the Jordan Valley (111.2 degrees F), Haaretz reported.

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The heat wave, which is not expected to break until Thursday, follows a record-breaking heat wave in May that caused forest fires.

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