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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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French, Israeli, ZAKA Volunteers Secured Full Jewish Burial in Israel for Toulouse Victims

ZAKA Volunteers with family members and official in front of the school in Toulouse.

ZAKA Volunteers with family members and official in front of the school in Toulouse.
Photo Credit: Steinreich Communications

The bodies of the four victims of yesterday’s shooting attack at the Otzar Hatorah school in Toulouse will be flown back to Israel for burial later Tuesday night, arriving in Israel at 4 a.m. local time. The funeral is scheduled to take place at 10 a.m. in Jerusalem.

The ZAKA International Rescue Unit handled all aspects of returning the four bodies to Israel. A special delegation from Israel, led by ZAKA International Rescue Unit commander Mati Goldstein, joined the volunteers from the ZAKA France. The teams worked at the school, clearing the scene and assisting in the forensic identification of the victims.

One of the ZAKA volunteers reported that, after a short memorial ceremony in the courtyard of the Otzar Hatorah school, the bodies were transferred in an army plane to Paris. The bodies will be flown out on the midnight El Al flight from Paris to Tel Aviv. The ZAKA volunteers from France, working together with the delegation from Israel, assisted the local burial society with all matters relating to honoring the dead, collecting all the body parts from the scene of the massacre. According to an Israeli ZAKA volunteer, “the Jewish community in France is still in shock and cannot fully comprehend the scope of the disaster.”

ZAKA Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said, “Yesterday, ZAKA  received a request from the family to assist them in ensuring their loved ones are buried in Israel. After a delay, we were successful in procuring burial plots for them in Jerusalem. ZAKA ambulances will take the bodies from the airport to the cemetery in Jerusalem.”

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


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