Army Unit Rescues Residents of Snowbound Gush Etzion Town
An IDF unit on Sunday came to the aid of a snowbound woman who was set to give birth in the town of P'nei Kedem, at the far eastern reaches of Gush Etzion. The region has been snowed in since Thursday, and transportation has been near impossible, with many areas – incluing P'nei Kedem – without running water or electricity.
It took soldiers two hours to dig their way into the town, where they came to the aid of the woman, evacuating her to a safer area. The army is currently evacuating other families from the town as well. It is not clear when electrical service will be restored there.
The Gush Etzion Regional Council has been operating 24 hours a day since early Thursday, when the proportions of the major snowstorm that hit Israel became clear. Council patrols delivered food, water, and generators to many of the small towns and villages in their jurisdiction, just south of Jerusalem. The Council also arranged for families in areas where services were operating normally with families that needed a place to stay.
Speaking to Arutz Sheva, MK Shuli Moallem, a resident of Neve Daniel in Gush Etzion, said that despite the hardship, people gave each other a great deal of assistance. “There is plenty of room for criticism, and I am sure that there will be plenty of criticism down the road” for how the authorities handled preparations for the storm, she said. “But right now we must be concerned with helping those who still do not have electricity or heat.” She herself has been stuck at home since Thursday, she said. “We have had some outages of power and water, but this past Shabbat was a very warm one, as we all took comfort in the embrace of our families,” she added.
Another woman about to give birth was evacuated from her home in Samaria by helicopter on Saturday.