Last week on Nov. 2, 16, The Israel National Emergency Committee testified before the Knesset’s Security and Foreign Affairs Committee. If there would be a severe earthquake in Israel today (something experts predict will occur in near future, as every 90 years or so, Israel experiences severe quakes, the last one devastating Tiberias and other Northern Israeli cities), approximately 7000 people would be killed, 8600 severely wounded, 170,000 left homeless, and 9500 people would be trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.
The Head of the Security and Foreign Affairs Committee, M.K. Avi Dichter, responded, shocked, “This amount of dead and of people trapped who can’t speak, means 100,000 Israelis waiting to know what will come of their loved ones. The nation of Israel will not be able to sustain this. You need to decide who will be called upon to give answers.”
How true this sad state of affairs is when it comes to Israel taking basic steps now, that could help tremendously when an earthquake hits Israel G-d forbid, or if many buildings should collapse due to missile and rocket attacks. We have enjoyed many miracles in recent wars. One must not rely on miracles. The Hamas, Hizbullah and who knows who else have hundreds of thousands of missiles and rockets aimed at Tel Aviv and other major Israeli centers. If Israel is hesitant to take the necessary steps to distance the threats emanating from Lebanon and Gaza, One would at least hope that Israel and Jews world-wide would be eager to support the efforts of such groups as the IDU – Israel Dog Unit, training and preparing dogs and handlers to deal with such a scenario where we would need to find and extricate people from under collapsed buildings as quickly as we can, while they may still be holding on to life.
I am aware of the efforts taken by the army and the fire department to respond to an earthquake. It is well known that dogs can and will play a central role in detecting where live people may be trapped under the rubble as well as G-d forbid where the scent of dead bodies are located. The IDF has less than 2 dozen such dogs. Dozens if not hundreds more will be needed.
There is one civilian organization known as YAKAL - the Israel Dog Unit that is trying its best to ready specially trained dogs and personnel to respond with these dogs to such an emergency. The Israel Dog Unit (IDU) is working around the clock in this regard and also is involved in searching daily for missing people in Israel as well as breeding, training and deploying security dogs in Judea, Samaria and throughout the land of Israel.
OUR UNIT IS IN DESPERATE NEED OF FUNDS TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE AND TO GROW TO MEET THE GREAT CHALLENGES THAT THREATEN ISRAEL TODAY. I am screaming and warning about measures that can be taken now to prevent terror attacks with the use of our dogs, to find missing people with dogs and to rescue people from under collapsed buildings, G-d forbid the need should arise. I seek not to say, “I told you so,” but rather to take basic measures today. That could only be done with significant financial support. We are not sufficiently getting through to the people who could make a significant difference. We are struggling daily to keep the unit afloat and to be able to respond to emergencies. It is not easy.
Please contribute generously to this holy life-saving mission. If not you, then who will step up to the plate? I do not enjoy begging. However, I tell you with great certainty that if our unit is forced to shut down that there is no other group out there with the ability to respond in any significant manner with the use of specially trained canines to a scenario where many buildings collapse. I can also tell you with certainty that there exists no other group that will do what we do in leading the searches for the people who go missing each and every day in Israel. I can also tell you with certainty that there exists no other group in Israel that deploys security dogs with security personnel in towns across Israel or to families who live on the border of vulnerable towns and “settlements”.
We have been using specially trained security and SAR dogs to save lives in Israel for the past 16 years with great success, rescuing missing people, preventing many terrorist attacks, and protecting places such as Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, Itamar, Yitzhar, Kiryat Arba, Mitzpeh Yair, Gush Etzyon, Elaazar, Tapuach, Bet El, Ofra, Shilo bloc, Haifa, Tzefat Forest, Kibbutz Lavie, Shedmot Mechola, Givaat Gal, Efrat, City of David, Nerya, Nachliel, Maaleh Shomron, Sde Bar- Nokdim, Kochav Hashachar, Ade Ad, Migdalim, Jericho bloc, Lebanon border, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Leshem, Jerusalem, Kfar Hassidim, Richeilim, Migdal HaEmek, Givaot Itamar, Beth Shemesh, Moshav Bekoa, Kedumim, Mitzpe Avichai, Ramat Beth Shemesh, Ashdod, Kiryat Malachi, Kiryat Ata, Ariel, Aminadav, Nachal Gerar – Negev, Hebron, Tapuach West, Netanya, Malachei Hasharet, Givaat Asaf, Mitspe Yericho, Eli, Ofra, Karmei Tzur, Maale Michmas, Mitzpe Donny, Kiryat Ono and more.
We have recommendations on file from the last three heads of the Shomron Council, The Commissioner of the Fire Dept., head of Shomron police search and rescue, Chief of Kiryat Gat Police, Chief of Netivot Police, Chief of Haifa police, Rabbi Dov Lior - Chief Rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Head of the Judea Samaria Rabbinic Committee, Rabbi Chai - Chief Rabbi of Itamar, Brig. General Knafo – former Machat Shomron, Shlomo Anavi - Chief of Security of Elaazar, Meir Hazani - Chief of Security Kedumim, Daniella Weiss, Mayor of Kedumim, Former Chief of Security of the Shomron, and many, many more.
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