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All Israelis Accounted for in Haiti

The last Israeli believed missing has been accounted for in Haiti: Abie Nathan’s daughter has finally been able to reach her family.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 1/15/2010, 1:10 PM / Last Update: 1/15/2010, 12:50 PM

Israel news photo

The last Israeli believed missing has been accounted for in Haiti; the daughter of late peace activist Abie Nathan was finally able to reach her family. The Foreign Ministry reports that no other Israelis are missing in the massive earthquake that struck the island nation earlier this week.

The Magen David Adom (MDA) detection unit, working in cooperation with ministry helped the families of Israelis to make contact with those who were caught in the quake. Upon hearing there were Israelis unaccounted for on the island, MDA established a dedicated website specifically to assist the families with locating their missing relatives.

Israel was in the forefront of nations to send aid to the disaster-struck island. The IAF Search and Rescue team is expected to arrive Friday, as will the IDF medical delegation. IDF Medical Center Commander Lt.-Col. Moshe Meuchas told Arutz Sheva’s Hebrew news the team will help treat the hundreds of thousands of wounded victims. Many are still trapped under the rubble; others have been freed, but are badly injured and in desperate need of medical assistance.

“A large shipment of medical equipment is arriving with a delegation of physicians, surgeons, obstetricians and gynecologists so we can set up a field hospital in Haiti,” he said. “It will include modern equipment and a delivery room so we can handle anything.”

The IDF has a great deal of experience in managing similar mass casualty events, he added. “The delegation has 150 staff members, including paramedics and medics. The Medical Corps has a long tradition of setting up field hospitals; the last time was in India in 2002, before that we worked at the disaster in Turkey, so we have had a lot of experience in this area.”

Meanwhile, the Chabad-Lubavitch emissary in the neighboring Dominican Republic, Rabbi Shimon Perel, also headed for Haiti with the local Police Chief and another police officer late Thursday night. The small group, which brought kosher food for the Jewish rescue workers, was only an advance team: the Jewish community led by Perel in Santo Domingo donated four large truckloads of produce to be distributed to citizens in Haiti.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) estimates that some 50,000 died in the earthquake that hit the island on Tuesday. Most of Haiti’s population of 3 million was affected by the disaster, however – many are homeless, the houses destroyed in the quake due to the poor construction standards in the country.

The United Nations announced Friday that 36 of its staff members were killed in the earthquake, and more than 200 others are still missing.

The country’s former president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, exiled to South Africa, announced Friday morning that he intends to return to Haiti in the wake of the disaster, but did not disclose further details.