British representatives in Israel have expressed their gratitude to the first-response organization ZAKA following the group's efforts to save a British citizen. ZAKA volunteers struggled to save Mary Jean Gardner, who was critically wounded in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem last Wednesday.
Gardner, a Bible translator originally from Scotland, ultimately died of her wounds despite paramedics' efforts.
British Ambassador to Israel Matthew Gold invited ZAKA representatives to his home for a modest ceremony in which he gave the organization a new device with the potential to save lives. The device, a small, technologically advanced underwater “scooter,” will help ZAKA's diving unit reach drowning victims quickly, and search bodies of water more efficiently.
The device also allows divers to move quickly without expending energy, thus allowing them to save their energy for resuscitation efforts.
Roi Rachamim of the diving unit demonstrated the use of the device in Gold's backyard pool.
Gold praised ZAKA for its dedication to providing aid “regardless of religion, sex, race, or nationality.” ZAKA's determination could serve as an example to the world, he added.
ZAKA was started by a group of hareidi-religious yeshiva students led by now-director Yehuda Meshi Zahav. It began as a group of volunteers dedicated to gathering human remains from the grisly aftermath of terrorist bombings in order to allow for proper burial, and has developed into a large-scale volunteer organization that assists in search and rescue operations, disaster response, first aid, and the recovery and identification of body parts.