A B.C. man is missing in Israel the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs confirmed Sunday morning.
Global News first learned that Ben Mizrachi was missing through a social media post by his former high school, King David High School in Vancouver.
“Please say extra prayers for King David alumnus, Ben Mizrachi, Class of 2018, who was attending an event in the south and is missing. Please keep Ben and his family in your prayers,” the post read.
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs confirmed the high school message is accurate and that Mizrachi is still missing. The centre said the family is asking for privacy at this time.
Global News spoke with a Quebec man who is living in Be’er Sheva in southern Israel on Sunday, which is roughly 41 kilometres from Gaza.
He said a few rockets landed near his apartment building on Saturday.
“At about 6:30 in the morning, I heard the sirens and had to run to shelter,” Olivier Marceau said.
“(It was) like that for a few hours, sirens would ring and we would have to run to the shelter. There were a couple of rockets that hit near my apartment. It was quite loud and we could see black smoke rising up. We could also hear and see incoming rockets in the sky being hit by the Iron Dome.”
Marceau said he has heard stories of kidnapping and hostages being taken.
“It is really sad to see. It is all over social media. Some of my partner’s colleagues have been killed and some of her friends … we don’t know, they are missing,” he told Global News.
“It is really scary. It is nerve-racking and we don’t know what to expect. Really praying and hoping for the best.”
The death toll in Israel has reached at least 600 people, according to government numbers, with more than 100 believed to be kidnapped and more than 2,000 people injured after the Hamas militant group attacked the country by air, land and sea on Saturday.
Officials in Gaza say at least 370 people have died in the territory as well.
The Associated Press reported on Sunday morning that soldiers were battling with Hamas fighters in the streets and buildings in Gaza were levelled by retaliation strikes by the Israelis. But the south was not the only place where fighting was seen, with reporting noting a brief exchange with Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group also erupting in the north, raising fears the conflict could grow.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said the security cabinet had approved the state of war that he had vowed a day earlier. The security cabinet also said in a statement it has approved cutting off the supply of electricity, goods and fuel into Gaza.
Netanyahu said the country is now embarking on “a long and difficult war.”
Israel-Gaza conflict: Over 250 Israelis, 230 Palestinians dead as violence escalates after Hamas attack
– With files from Sean Previl, The Associated Press and Reuters
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