Special thanks to Ashreinu Yeshiva students who once again came out in force to aid in the search. Unfortunately we have thus far been unsuccessful in finding her.
Our unit - The Civilian Canine Unit of Israel has been active in aiding Zahavit’s family in several different ways. Our in-house computer experts helped find vital intelligence information on Zahavit’s computers, we helped family design and distribute flyers (much more need to be printed and posted), we searched with and without dogs keys areas and abandoned buildings and more.
After spending two days in Ashdod, working almost around the clock, our teams are resting and joining training exercises with the security and SAR dogs today in Gush Etzyon, Tapuach and Beth Shemesh. Later today – Thursday, we hope to aid the family with printing large size posters, distributing and posting them as well as aiding in the effort to find stores or factories that might have camera footage that can help ascertain which direction Zahavit was walking from the point last seen.
Ashdod is a unique area. It is an urban, beach front port city, with the Lachish River flowing in and around it, parks and many small jungles with heavy brush, scattered on the outskirts of the city near the port and river, and no shortage of abandoned buildings or buildings under construction. Now that we have completed the obvious spots, within a 2-3 kilometer radius, we will help direct the family and focus on attaining footage and publicizing Zahavit’s photo, while the case is fresh in people’s memory and while the footage is hopefully not yet erased from the cameras of local merchants and factories.
Anyone who wishes to help with printing costs petrol and food for the volunteers, or to come and physically volunteer to post flyers up or to speak to local spots with cameras is MORE THAN welcome. This is not our typical field of assistance however this is the only way we could get clues as to which direction she was moving and where to best focus our searches. I see that the family, Zaka and police are not able to get this done adequately, and these first days are critical.
Tuesday we had some professional divers check the Ashdod Lachish River in the spots where the dogs indicated regarding the Daniel Wessley search back several months ago. We realized that it would be unlikely that the body would be in the same area, months later. There is still one other area in the river that needs to be searched with divers. Interesting to note how the current search is overlapping with 5 other still unresolved cases over recent months in Ashdod. We are learning the area better and we are aware of the fact that we might recover bodies from these recent searches. Last night, for example, we searched new areas that we never covered in earlier searches. While they are a bit out of range from some of those earlier cases, one never knows what we might find…
VOLUNTEER WORK STUDY PROGRAM WITH OUR UNIT IN ISRAEL
Our canine units are seeking more in-house volunteers who wish to learn how to handle SAR or security dogs and who will be available to help us maintain our kennels, or with administrative chores and tasks as well as in security and Search and Rescue efforts. We offer room and board, training and help to create a customized schedule that will enable the specific volunteer to merge the dog activities with Torah or academic studies and part-time employment. This is a great way to make a meaningful contribution to saving Jewish lives in Israel, whether you be patrolling a vulnerable Jewish town or outpost or whether you be searching for a missing person. A missing person could be a despondent person, confused, who deliberately or accidently harms himself/herself while seeking time to be alone in nearby wilderness or area overlooking the water and home. It could be a missing elderly person with dementia, or a 5 year-old autistic child. Our missing subject could also be a lost or injured hiker, or a person buried under rubble after a building collapsed due to a gas explosion, a rocket attack or earthquake. Our dogs need to be trained to operate in urban, wilderness and rubble sites as well as on waterfront terrain.