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Family Stuck with Body in Storm

A family from Gush Etzion was unable to inform authorities that a relative had died due to downed phone lines.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 12/15/2013, 4:26 PM

Ambulance in snow (file)
Ambulance in snow (file)
MDA spokesperson

A family from Nokdim, in the Gush Etzion area, spent the Sabbath with a loved one’s body after the heavy snow in the region made it impossible to remove the body or to call for help.

On Friday evening, a 78-year-old man from Nokdim died of a heart attack. Electricity was out in the town, as were the phone lines, leaving his family with no way of contacting the outside world.

On Saturday night, some relatives made their way to the town of Tekoa, where they knocked on the door of the local police officer and informed him of their plight.

The officer used the police communications network to report the incident. He then traveled to Nokdim to retrieve the body for burial in Tekoa.

The burial concluded at 1 a.m. in the Tekoa cemetery.

Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria were particularly hard-hit by the storm that began Thursday. Thousands of families in the region remained without electricity or water as of Sunday morning.

IDF troops and volunteers performed dozens of rescue missions on Saturday and Sunday, helping families with young children and no heat to evacuate to centers where they could be given food, water and warmth.

The IDF also helped paramedics to evacuate a woman from a snowed-in community who was in labor, and a family whose children were suffering from hypothermia.