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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Nepal’

Israel Issues Travel Warning for Nepal

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Israel’s Foreign Ministry issued a travel warning for Nepal on Tuesday, reminding citizens the country still faces hardships and disease due to recent earthquakes and an avalanche on Mount Everest.

The death toll is still rising in the devastated nation high above in the Himalayas, with more than 7,200 dead and more than 14,000 injured found.

United Nations estimates place the damage and/or destruction of homes at more than half a million, and up to 600,000. Of the country’s 28 million citizens, at least 2 million are completely homeless and in need of tents and basic survival supplies. Up to 8 million are affected and many of those displaced.

The biggest fear now is, how to prevent disease from taking over next.

Despite assistance from the international community – with Israel providing one-third of the total human resource aid – Nepalese are struggling for survival. There are areas with contaminated drinking water, remote villages without food, shortages of medicine and medical aid. Aftershocks are continuing, some stronger than others.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry advises that under such circumstances, it is not wise to travel to Nepal at this time. Those already in the country should take these conditions into consideration before deciding to extend their stay – including those who independently decided to remain as volunteers in rescue efforts.

In the last few days that search and rescue teams were tracking down stranded Israelis, there were reports of attacks against the young foreign trekkers by Nepalese as conditions became more desperate and food, water and other survival necessities were needed.

Body of Missing Israeli Hiker, Or Ashraf, Found in Nepal

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

The body of missing Israeli hiker 22-year-old Or Ashraf has been found in a “complicated” area on Mount Everest.

Search and rescue workers have been looking for the IDF veteran for more than a week. His friends lost contact after the deadliest earthquake in more than 80 years struck Nepal nine days ago.

Ashraf was last seen alive just before setting out alone on a trail in Langtang, about an hour before the earthquake hit.

His father arrived in the area with some of the veteran’s buddies from the elite IDF Egoz combat unit to help search for him. Some of his belongings were found earlier in the day on Sunday, shortly before rescue workers located the body.

Due to its location, they said it is likely they will retrieve it tomorrow (Monday).

Ashraf’s father had vowed over the weekend that he would not leave Nepal without first locating his son. Israel’s foreign ministry, search and rescue teams and other officials have been using the Kathmandu Chabad House as a base of operations.

The Jewish center operated by Chabad-Lubavitch co-emissaries Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz and his wife Chani has been transformed into a crisis center where some 2,000 meals a day are being served to Nepalese refugees and stranded Israelis as they are being rescued by helicopter teams around the area.

It is at the Kathmandu Chabad House, with its high-tech equipment, that arrangements will likely be made for the retrieval of Ashraf’s body and its return to Israel.

Breaking News; Searchers in Nepal Find Documents of Missing Israeli

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Israeli search teams have found documents connected to Israeli Or Asraf who has been missing in Nepal since last week’s disastrous earthquake, several Twitter accounts have reported.

The death toll from the quake has risen to 6,841, and Nepalese officials said there is virtually no chance of finding anyone alive.

Asraf’s relatives have flown to Nepal to join the search for the 2-year-old, and his father declared, “I am not going anywhere until I find him.”

A guide from a Nepalese tour operator is helping the Asraf family to try to find Or, who was traveling alone and was last seen about an hour before the earthquake struck.

Father, IDF Buddies Search in Nepal for Missing Israeli

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The father of a young Israeli backpacker has flown to Nepal to search the shattered nation for his missing son, Or Ashraf.

The 22-year-old hiker was last seen in Langtang a week ago just prior to setting out to hike a trail on Mount Everest, hours before the first 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck.

Israel Ambassador to Nepal, Yaron Meir, told IDF Army Radio on Thursday there is no concrete information about the whereabouts of Or Ashraf. “There is some room for concern,” Meir said.

The trekker last told a friend last Thursday that he might attempt to hike one of the trails alone.

The elder Ashraf brought along some of his son’s IDF colleagues from the Egoz combat unit. Ashraf is the sole Israeli who has not made contact after the quake hit the area.

On Thursday, search and rescue teams planned to attempt a helicopter rescue of 20 Israelis located on a remote mountainside in the Himalayas, officials said.

Meanwhile, Rabbi Chezky Lifshitz, co-director of Chabad of Nepal with his wife, Chani, personally joined a helicopter mission to pick up stranded Israeli trekkers. Hours later, 25 were airlifted to Kathmandu; another 20-25 were still waiting for another airlift.

Bad weather has played a role in delaying helicopter rescues in the mountains. One rescue mission intended to deliver food and a satellite phone to stranded Israelis by motorcycle failed after 10 hours due to blocked roads.

While trekkers wait, cold and hungry, others continue to arrive with homeless villagers at the Chabad House in Kathmandu. Volunteers led by Chani Lifshitz are serving up to 2,000 meals a day to Nepalese. The Lifshitz children, meanwhile, are being hosted at the home of Israel President Reuven Rivlin.

Chabad of Nepal has stayed in touch with some 50 Israelis who have been stuck in remote villages with no food, electricity or water with satellite phones. Israelis are stranded in mountain regions like Dhunche and Syrabrubesi; but they’ve been in touch with Lifshitz thanks to the satellite phones they took with them. They were provided by the Chabad House and donated by the family of Nadav Shoham, an Israeli hiker killed last year in a massive, freak blizzard.

More than 5,500 people are known to have died in the earthquake and the devastating 6.7-magnitude aftershock hours later. More than 100 aftershocks followed, and others have continued to rock the region. The quakes affected areas and killed people in areas as far away as Tibet, India and Pakistan.

Even as life ends for so many, a new baby boy weighing 2.1 kilograms came into the world, according to Major (res.) Michal Peres, a midwife and member of the Israeli delegation at the IDF Field Hospital set up in Nepal. The mother was being treated at a local hospital damaged in the quake, but went into labor and required a Caesarean section due to the size of the baby and the physical circumstances of the mother, IDF Major Gil Dar, an obstetrician/gynecologist confirmed. “The feeling is a good one,” he said.

Israeli Search and Rescue Underway in Nepal

Wednesday, April 29th, 2015

A 20-person delegation comprised of volunteers from Israel’s leading rescue organizations already has set up a field hospital and begun reaching out to earthquake victims in Nepal. Coordinated by IsraeLife and including representatives from United Hatzalah, Zaka and F.I.R.S.T., the rescue mission arrived on Monday and split up into two camps – one stationed in Kathmandu and the other in smaller villages in the periphery.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Dov Maisel, a member of the joint delegation and United Hatzalah volunteer, explains conditions on the field:

“Many communities have been utterly destroyed… their hospital or medical center is gone – they have nothing.”

So far, the Israeli rescue team is treating injuries, pulling people out of rubble, rescuing victims from remote locations and consoling those facing grave tragedy.

“It is very difficult. After this kind of incident you have many wounded people who have nowhere to go – and they have fractures, an infected cut – all sorts of wounds… and they have no one treating them. Our mission is to help as many people as possible,” he said.

Working with Nepalese authorities: Members of the IsraeLife delegation join in rescue efforts with Nepalese authorities.

Working with Nepalese authorities: Members of the IsraeLife delegation join in rescue efforts with Nepalese authorities.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Crowds of injured and distraught gather at the IsraeLife field hospital, staffed by United Hatzalah, Zaka and FIRST.

Eli Pollak, CEO of IsraeLife, said, “We decided to enlist the cooperation of the prominent Israeli emergency agencies in order to maximize the capabilities of the delegation, which is made up of experts in serving the needs of the disaster area. We are preparing for a long stay that will provide solutions to the Israelis living in Nepal and local residents.”

Dov Maisel of United Hatzalah gives vaccine to Nepalese boy at the IsraeLife field hospital on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

Dov Maisel of United Hatzalah gives vaccine to Nepalese boy at the IsraeLife field hospital on the outskirts of Kathmandu.

US: UNRWA Gets Add’l $6M for Yarmouk ‘Palestinians,’ Only $10M for Nepal

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The U.S. State Department issued a quiet little bombshell with an unheralded press release dated April 27, which revealed that on April 24, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power announced that an additional $6 million of U.S. taxpayer money is being provided to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) “in response to the devastating crisis in Yarmouk.”

This latest $6 million comes in response to the Yarmouk Emergency Call for Funds, which seeks funding for a 90 day rapid response effort.

This tranche brings the total U.S. contributions to UNRWA in response to the crisis in Syria to more than $57 million in 2015 alone. Keep in mind that UNRWA only serves those designated by the U.N. as “Palestinian refugees,” and not ordinary Syrian citizens.

What has happened in Yarmouk, Syria, has indeed led to a grave humanitarian crisis. Still, the context matters.

When the barbarian ISIS members entered the “Palestinian refugee” camp of Yarmouk, on the edge of Damascus, earlier this month, it had already been the site of two years of deadly clashes.

Those clashes were largely between the members of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, which supports the Assad regime, and the Palestinian Arab camp residents who oppose the Baathist regime of Assad. Yarmouk was also the site of several bombing raids by Syrian Army jets.

So for years, as the civil war in Syria has raged on, the civilian population throughout Syria has suffered appallingly. The recent murders and brief takeover of Yarmouk by ISIS has further led to “severe restrictions on food, medicine, clean water and electricity.” This is tragic, beyond a doubt.

But is the answer to the problem to just keep funneling in money to UNRWA, an agency that would not exist were these particular people living in Syria not labeled “Palestinian refugees”? The fallout from the latest tragedies would exist, of course, because of the Syrian civil war and the ISIS barbarism, but it is exponentially larger because the people in this “refugee camp” have never been absorbed into the general population of Syria (or Lebanon or Jordan, for that matter).

Why is it that the U.S. government believes taxpayer funds must be used to sustain a “Palestinian refugee” population indefinitely, putting aside the question of why they are considered refugees at all. That civilians caught in a brutal civil war should be the recipients of humanitarian aid is beyond dispute, but the duplications, to say nothing of the cost of maintaining a separate humanitarian agency just to serve one separate, designated afflicted group cannot be efficient, to say the least.

According to UNRWA (which exists solely to support these “refugees”), “there are 480,000 Palestinian refugees in Syria,” a full 95 percent of whom rely on UNRWA for their basic needs.

Not only that, but 470,000 of those “refugees” rely on small grants to sustain them: in other words, UNRWA is supplying the goods and services for their basic needs in addition to a cash supplement. If this special population were absorbed by their Muslim brethren anytime over the preceding half-century, it is impossible to believe they would not be vastly better off and better able to withstand the current onslaught.

To put it in context, the devastating series of earthquakes that struck in and around Nepal this month has already claimed thousands of lives. The number dead is expected to increase to 10,000. At least eight million people have been affected, nearly one quarter the country’s population, with over two million living in the most severely affected districts.

Vast swathes of the Nepalese infrastructure have been destroyed; the damage is inestimable.

Nepal Thanks Israel for Humanitarian Aid

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

The Foreign Minister of Nepal, Mahendra Bahadur Pandey thanked Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman today for the humanitarian aid that Israel has sent in the wake of the country’s devastating earthquake. Pandey noted that the Nepalese people deeply appreciate the aid being sent from Israel.

Liberman spoke with Pandey on Tuesday morning, April 28 and thanked Nepalese authorities for their assistance in sending out helicopters to evacuate stranded Israelis in more remote areas of Nepal. Nepal agreed to Israel’s request to use helicopters chartered in India and China to rescue those stranded Israelis.

The massive earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday has killed at least 4,000 people and left nearly 8,000 people injured. According to the United Nations, eight million people have been affected, more than a quarter of the south Asian country’s population. The 7.8-magnituted quake has wreaked devastation across the country, with leaving countless inhabitants without electricity, water, and food.

Israel sent its first rescue plane from Home Front Command on Sunday, April 26 and later on, three more air force planes full of emergency aid. A delegation of Israeli doctors and paramedics flew out on a Magen David Adom plane on Sunday as well. The planes have also brought back groups of Israelis back home.

On Monday, April 27, two El Al planes flew out carrying out more than 200 doctors, sanitation engineers, machinery technicians, as well as medical equipment including oxygen tanks, medical ventilators, X-ray machines, medicines and engineering equipment.

In the coming two weeks, IDF search and rescue teams will set up near the capital, Kathmandu in order to find survivors in the rubble of collapsed buildings. The Israeli teams will also set up a field hospital for the local population to provide much needed medical services. The field hospital will have 80 hospital beds, two operating rooms, four intensive-care rooms and specialists in neonatal and adult care, with dozens of IDF physicians from the regular army and reserves at hand.

In light of the country’s most deadly earthquake in 81 years, the Nepal government has urged for overseas aid. “We urge foreign countries to give us special materials and medical teams. We are really desperate for more foreign expertise to pull through this crisis,” said Chief Secretary Leela Mani Paudel.

In addition to Israel, other countries coming to Nepal’s aid include India, China, Japan, Bhutan, Pakistan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, US, Canada, Australia, and others.

Other Israeli disaster response organizations providing their expertise in Nepal include ZAKA and IsraAID.

Israel is also making plans for long-term assistance to Nepal. The head of Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV), Ambassador Gil Haskel held a meeting on Monday to discuss the second stage of Israeli aid to Nepal with a concentration on long-term assistance to the country.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nepal-thanks-israel-for-humanitarian-aid/2015/04/28/

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