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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Home Front Command’

Arrests Made as Israel Burns

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

A number of arrests have been made by security personnel as Israeli firefighters continued on Thursday to battle blazes raging across the center and north of the country, with communities in the south opening their doors to those who were forced to flee the flames.

“It’s likely that there is a nationalist motive in some of the arson cases,” Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh told reporters at a briefing in the northern city of Haifa on Thursday.

“We have a special integrated investigation team that is monitoring everything that is happening across the country,” he said. “I don’t want to get into questions regarding where [we suspect] arson and where we do not. If this is… arson, it could be nationalistically motivated. It’s certainly not just [simple] pyromania,” he emphasized. “And there have been arrests. But Alsheikh declined to share further details.

“There are some cases of arson, and lots of cases that are not arson,” he allowed, but revealed little else.

Four Arabs from the Palestinian Authority have been arrested so far on suspicion of having deliberately set the fires that continue to blaze across the Jerusalem Corridor.

Officials from the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said in a statement they are investigating the possibility that some of the fires are actually terrorist attacks.

Earlier in the day, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said in a statement that up to half of the fires raging across the nation were, in fact, caused by arson. High winds and dry weather, he said, meant that a spark as small as a cigarette butt could ignite a blazing forest fire.

In Haifa, a state of emergency was declared. Some 60,000 people were evacuated from their homes, at least 100 were sent to city hospitals suffering from smoke inhalation. More than a dozen neighborhoods were evacuated, local trains stopped running and the local airport was shut down.

Fires near the Paz Bridge, Haifa Bay and the city stadium were reported, with high winds and dry conditions helping the flames to spread.

Some 350 firefighters and Home Front Command rescue personnel working with 115 fire trucks battled dozens of blazes across the port city.

Southern Israeli communities have again swung into action — as they did during prior wars — and are asking families on a pre-arranged list to take in those who were forced to flee their homes.

In the northern Negev city of Arad, the S. family told JewishPress.com, “We’ve really got no room, since we moved into a smaller house since that last time, but we might take in a couple. We’ll probably put the kids in the living room; they’re still pretty small.”

Hesder yeshiva students from the Ohr Yeshu’a Yeshiva in the Neve Sha’anan neighborhood caught an Arab teen red-handed as he made kindling from cardboard boxes to start another fire, Rotter.net reported. The teen managed to escape, but the students were at least able to put out the fire.

Four road workers were arrested Wednesday in the mixed-population community of Nataf, near Jerusalem, for not properly extinguishing a fire they started in order to cook a meal. They were freed Thursday.

Hana Levi Julian

ZAKA Divers Participate in NATO Exercise

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

The ZAKA Divers Unit was, for the first time, invited to participate in a NATO international search, rescue and recovery exercise as part of an official Israeli National Emergency Management Authority delegation, which took place this week in Montenegro with participants from 27 countries.

The exercise enacted a scenario in which the rivers in Montenegro flooded large populated areas, home to around 640,000 residents. As a result, villages were badly damaged, around 40,000 houses were flooded, and thousands of citizens were adversely affected. Following the national disaster, the government turned to NATO, requesting assistance in rescue and recovery of the injured and dead, and supplying food and water to the residents.

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Twenty-seven countries from around the world responded to the request and sent rescue and medical teams, including the State of Israel via the National Emergency Management Authority that instructed the emergency and rescue forces to send professional delegations. The 24-strong Israeli delegation, that left for Montenegro on Sunday (October 30), included seven members of the ZAKA Divers Unit, the Fire and Rescue Authority’s central unit, and representatives of the Search and Rescue units from the Home Front Command and the Ministry of Defense.

The Israeli rescue teams, including members of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit headed by Mati Goldstein, brought half a ton of equipment worth hundreds of thousands of shekels, and quickly began their search and rescue missions, bringing tens of people to safety. The rescue teams worked in an area under especially harsh conditions, with the water temperature only around 7oC (44F). According to the exercise scenario, some of the bridges had collapsed, roads were destroyed, and the volunteers were mostly moving from place to place by boat. The ZAKA Divers Unit used the ZAKA Scooter, an underwater motorized scooter, developed exclusively by ZAKA, that is intended for searching for missing people underwater.

ZAKA Divers Unit in a NATO international search, rescue and recovery exercise

ZAKA International Rescue Unit commander Mati Goldstein said in a statement: “We found several people whose car was underwater, but they had managed to extricate themselves from it and climb onto it or a higher level. Some had been waiting there for three days – we rescued them together with members of the Fire and Rescue Authority’s central unit,” related

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ZAKA Divers Unit commander Haim Outmezgine said in a statement: “This was a very important exercise – our first NATO exercise – with complex rescue challenges. The ability to work together with the firefighting and rescue teams from around the world allowed us to execute the task perfectly, while earning the admiration of the exercise organizers and accumulating significant knowledge for the ZAKA Divers Unit. Without a doubt, participating in such an exercise has given us greater knowledge and experience for use in real-life situations.”

Photo of the Day

Security Exercise at Western Wall Ahead of Tuesday’s National Defense Drill

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Jerusalem District Police and other security personnel gathered at various areas around the Western Wall around midnight Monday night, sealing off all entrances to the plaza where pious Jews are known to pray at all hours of the day and night.

The move came in advance of the upcoming Jewish high holy days, and as part of the national security defense drill that officially starts throughout the country on Tuesday. It’s just easier to carry out security drills at midnight at the Western Wall — and thereby avoid worldwide panic — because that’s when almost no one else is around. At least, that’s when the tourists aren’t around. And Israelis are used to security drills.

“All the entrances and exits in and out of the Kotel (Western Wall) Plaza have been closed off,  hermetically sealed,” complained one resident of the Old City who asked on an internet chat if anyone else knew what was going on.  “Some kind of operation is underway,” another answered.  A second writer said a security exercise was taking place at the Western Wall and surrounds. Within a very few minutes, however, it was all over and the human traffic was flowing freely through the ancient alleyways once more.

On Tuesday, Israel’s Home Front Command begins a national security exercise for the entire country. Red Alert air raid sirens will activate at various times throughout the country, depending on where in Israel the reader lives.  Each community will  have two opportunities to “practice” making a beeline for one’s safe space or bomb shelter, once in the morning and once in the evening.

The IDF urges each citizen to participate in the exercise and take the opportunity to become familiar with the routine of accessing your safe space and the issues involved in getting there, and staying there.

Readers are advised to check the Home Front Command website to determine what time your Red Alert activation is set to begin. To find out more about the exercise, and to access the Home Front Command site, click here.

Hana Levi Julian

Search & Recovery Ends as 3 More Bodies Pulled from Tel Aviv Parking Lot Rubble

Saturday, September 10th, 2016

Three more bodies — the last of six — were recovered over the weekend from the rubble of the collapsed underground parking lot building under construction in Tel Aviv.

Since Monday, 500 IDF soldiers from the Home Front Command search and rescue division, as well as officers and civilian organizations pulled 10 people from the wreckage of the building.

“For six days forces … have been operating to save lives from the destruction site,” said IDF Home Front Command Major-General Yoel Strik. “Today the efforts have come to an end with the extraction of the last trapped from under the rubble, unfortunately lifeless.

“We send our condolences to the families. We will continue to aid during disaster as long as we are needed to set an example as a professional search and rescue body.”

The forces used “up to date technologies” to rescue as many people as possible, alive, said Colonel Amir Ulu, commander of the Dan District.

“During the entire extraction multiple rescue forces and organization took part in the effort,” he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Head of Search in TA Building Collapse, as 3rd Dead Discovered: Time Not on our Side

Tuesday, September 6th, 2016

“Time is not on our side,” said Home Front Command chief for the Metropolitan Tel Aviv District Colonel Amir Ulu, who described the challenges facing hundreds of rescue workers at the collapsed building where three have died—the third victim discovered Tuesday morning—and 23 injured so far. On Monday night the rescuers lost contact with two victims who until then could be heard from under the layers of dirt and destruction. “The more time passes, the more problematic it becomes to find living victims, although in the past we’ve rescued collapse victims after 30 hours,” Ulu said.

Rescue worker with dog at the site of the building collapse September 5, 2016 in Ramat Hakhayal, Tel Aviv.

Rescue worker with dog at the site of the building collapse September 5, 2016 in Ramat Hakhayal, Tel Aviv.

As dark was setting at the collapsed, 4-story parking garage under construction in Ramat HaKhayal in north Tel Aviv, the rescue teams mapped the construction site, but the dimensions and sheer mass of the detritus and debris posed a significant difficulty. “It can take us hours to reach each one of the mapped areas,” Yonatan Raz, Ulu’s deputy, told Walla. “But the command’s decision is that we’re not leaving. We have the capacity to remain here for 48 hours, with the hope of finding trapped victims who are still alive.”

The rescuers believe there are four more people under the collapsed structure. Overnight the site was flooded with high voltage lights and shifts were changed frequently, to maintain the workers’ alertness. The rescuers are fearing additional collapses in two spots, which they continue to monitor. “The structure has stopped moving, which is good news,” Ulu said Tuesday morning.

Ulu related that only a week ago, commanders from the Home Front Corp, Police and MDA underwent a course intended to regulate communications between them in the event of a major disaster, “And here we are, applying what we’ve learned, unfortunately,” Ulu concluded.

David Israel

Iron Dome Anti-Missile Defense System Deployed in Sderot

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

The IDF has deployed Israel’s short to mid-range Iron Dome anti-missile defense system in Israel’s “deep south” in the wake of Sunday’s attack on Israel from Gaza. The move could signal concerns over a possible uptick in attacks from the south.

An Iron Dome anti-rocket battery was set up Monday in the city of Sderot, located less than a mile from the Gaza border.

The moves follow the latest rocket attack against Israel by Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization. A short-range Qassam rocket landed Sunday in a residential section of the city, between two houses.

Miraculously, no one was physically injured in the attack.

Israeli Air Force fighter pilots immediately retaliated in response to the attack, bombing terrorist targets within the enclave and wounding at least five operatives in the process.

Hana Levi Julian

The Perfect Holiday Gift: New Missile Alert System from Home Front Command

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

The IDF Home Front Command on Thursday revealed a private home siren that provides real-time warnings in case of a missile attack, Globes reported. A collaboration of the Home Front Command and Beeper Communications Israel, the home warning kit will be offered for sale to the general public this fall, but the cost is not yet finalized.

Home Front Command Planning Department Commander Col. Itzik Gai explained the value of the new product saying that the windows in most homes are closed with the air conditioning working in summer and in winter, making it difficult to hear the sirens. The new device will improve the chance that members of the household hear the alerts in time to evacuate to their safe rooms.

The Home Front Command has already pushed for the development of apps that provide real-time warning about incoming missiles via mobile phones and home computers. The new, personal warning system offers an enhancement of those apps. “The national siren system will continue to be the bulldozer for delivering warnings to the public, but the personal systems will be supplementary components,” Gai told Globes.

The Home Front Command divides Israel into 264 siren areas in which an alarm is activated as soon as a missile’s flight path and landing have been analyzed. In the area where the missile is expected to hit, the alarm system will be activated. Like the apps that were already in use during Operation Protective Edge two summers ago, the new home warning system will kick in only if a missile threatens the user’s particular area, leaving everyone else to continue with their daily routines.

“We’re already thinking about delivering an earlier warning focused on a single square kilometer,” Gai said, adding the signal could be sent to a smart watch.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-perfect-holiday-gift-new-missile-alert-system-from-home-front-command/2016/08/18/

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