Is­rael sends 71-man Mexico res­cue team

The Jewish Chronicle - - WORLD NEWS - BY ANSHEL PFEFFER

A 71-MEM­BER res­cue team from the Is­rael De­fence Forces worked through Rosh Hashanah as part of the in­ter­na­tional ef­fort fol­low­ing the Septem­ber 19 earth­quake in cen­tral Mexico.

The del­e­ga­tion left Is­rael last Wed­nes­day on a mil­i­tary C-130 Her­cules trans­port, hours be­fore the Jewish New Year be­gan, and was com­posed mostly of sol­diers and re­serve of­fi­cers from the IDF’s Home Front Com­mand.

At the re­quest of the Mex­i­can au­thor­i­ties, who stressed the ur­gent need to in­spect the safety of build­ings dam­aged in the quake, a large pro­por­tion of the team were con­struc­tion engi­neers.

Lo­cal re­ports said as many as 360 build­ings in Mexico City were at risk of col­lapse or with ma­jor dam­age after the mag­ni­tude 7.1 earth­quake, which killed at least 333 peo­ple across the coun­try.

Ner­vous res­i­dents were still con­tact­ing po­lice at the be­gin­ning of this week about new cracks that were ap­pear­ing in their apart­ment build­ings, a week after the tremor struck.

Ed­u­ca­tion sec­re­tary Aure­lio Nuno said only a tenth of Mexico City’s 9,000 schools were cleared to re­open on Tues­day and that it could be three weeks be­fore all are de­clared safe.

The Is­raeli del­e­ga­tion was named “Op­er­a­tion Voice of the Sho­far heard from Afar” by the IDF.

It had a spe­cial rab­bini­cal dis­pen­sa­tion to work through­out the holy days of Rosh Hashanah and Shab­bat due to the ne­ces­sity of sav­ing lives.

Mex­i­can For­eign Min­is­ter Luis Vide­garay Caso hosted a spe­cial re­cep­tion on Mon­day for for­eign res­cue teams who had ar­rived in the coun­try.

He sin­gled out the Is­raeli del­e­ga­tion led by Colonel David Mizrahi, which had trav­elled the fur­thest dis­tance, and thanked them es­pe­cially for work­ing though the New Year.

In ad­di­tion to the IDF team, two civil­ian Is­raeli teams were also in­volved in the search and res­cue ef­forts in Mexico City. Mr Caso also phoned Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu to thank him per­son­ally.

PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

Is­raeli res­cue work­ers in­spect­ing a Mexico City build­ing on Satur­day

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