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Three tourists were killed on Thursday when the vehicle they were riding in collided with a truck near the Negev city of Be'er Sheva.

The tourists - two men and a woman - were visiting Israel from Germany and the United States. Two other passengers, both residents of the Negev, were moderately injured in the accident.

Following the crash, Highway 31 was closed off to traffic in both directions between Arad and Tel Arad.

Police officials said that the accident occurred after a private vehicle carrying five passengers tried to make a u-turn about two kilometers past the entrance to Arad.

A truck coming from the opposite direction slammed into the side of the car, killing one of the passengers on the spot. Another passenger was critically injured and died before reaching the Soroka Medical Center in Be'er Sheva, where he was being taken for treatment. The third casualty succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

All of the fatalities were tourists, two of them American and the third German.

The driver of the truck was treated for shock following the accident. It is unlikely that he will be charged with either responsibility or negligence on the accident.

Also Thursday, a 70-year-old woman died from injuries incurred in a separate road accident near the northern town of Ma'alot.