Israeli rescue unit has plans to operate in Australia

March 19, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Australian Ambassador to Israel Ms. Andrea Faulkner recently visited the Jerusalem headquarters of the ZAKA International Rescue Unit which has plans to expand to Australia.

ZAKA Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav with Australian Ambassador to Israel Andrea Faulkner   Photo: ZAKA

ZAKA Chairman and Founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav with Australian Ambassador to Israel Andrea Faulkner Photo: ZAKA

Accompanied by Immigration Officer and Manager of the Visa, Immigration and Citizenship section at the Australian Embassy Mr. Abdullah Azar and Australian lawyer Michael Kadoury, the Ambassador received a full briefing on the activities of the UN-recognized international humanitarian volunteer rescue and recovery organization from ZAKA Founder and Chairman Yehuda Meshi-Zahav.

ZAKA International Rescue Unit commander Mati Goldstein related to the Ambassador how volunteers in 14 units around the world receive regular, specialized training in mass casualty disaster management and emergency rescue and recovery from the Israeli team. The readiness of these equipped and trained volunteers in key communities and cities around the world, from North and South America to Russia, Europe and the Far East, significantly reduces the response time of the ZAKA volunteers to a mass casualty incident, thereby saving lives.

During her visit to the ZAKA headquarters in Jerusalem, Ambassador Faulkner noted that, while she knew about the activities of ZAKA in Israel and around the world, she was not aware of the “scope and sheer number of incidents where the organization has provided assistance.”  The ambassador expressed gratitude that the volunteer organization was planning to establish a unit in Australia and promised to connect ZAKA with the relevant emergency and rescue services in her country. “My door will always be open for you”.

Founded in 1995 by Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, ZAKA is Israel’s dominant non-governmental lifesaving, rescue and recovery organization, with over 1500 volunteers deployed around the country, on call 24/7 to respond to any terror attack, disaster or accident immediately, professionally and with the necessary equipment. With specialist search, rescue and recovery units on land and sea, the ZAKA volunteers are equipped to reach any emergency incident as quickly as possible, thereby saving precious time and lives. The UN-recognized ZAKA International Rescue Unit has assisted at natural disasters (e.g. Japan, Haiti, New Orleans, Thailand); plane crashes (e.g. USA, Mexico) and terror attacks (e.g. Mumbai, Mombasa, Istanbul). The unit is expanding, with locally-trained units in North and South America, Europe, Russia and the Ukraine and the Far East. As a result of its UN recognition, ZAKA is able to offer emergency assistance even before an official delegation has left Israel, the host country has formally asked for help or when the country has no diplomatic ties with Israel.


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