ZAKA Search and Rescue has begun an online donor campaign to raise funds to purchase five new ambulances for Yerushalayim, Gush Etzion, Haifa, Ashkelon, and Rechovot. The volunteer organization hopes to raise $275,000 within the next four weeks, a figure which will be matched by an anonymous donor to bring the total to $550,000.
According to the organization, the current security situation throughout Israel poses serious challenges to its limited resources while it struggles to cope with days filled with multiple terror attacks.
“In emergency times like these, the ZAKA ambulance is needed more than ever. The ZAKA ambulance is equipped with emergency first aid, chesed shel emet supplies, oxygen tanks, emergency lighting, a generator, rescue equipment, and much more. The ambulances remain on 24/7 standby, ready to offer assistance to local residents in any emergency situation,” the appeal said.
ZAKA Jerusalem Branch Deputy Commander and International Unit Operations Officer Yossi Fraenkel told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that “we are down to the one ambulance we have now in Jerusalem and it is over 12 years old. It is working around the clock.” He added that “we literally went from one case of terror to another to another” on Sunday, a day on which there were five terrorist attacks.
Fraenkel pointed out, however, that the organization’s work is not restricted to Israel. He told TPS that the organization deals with around 7-19 international cases per week besides collecting the remains of people who have died through natural or unnatural causes.
“For example, there was a case when a rabbi was stabbed in Russia and the doctors there said there was no hope of him surviving. We went out there and we brought him to Israel and he walked out of the hospital less than two weeks later. We go all over the world. Nothing stops us from saving a life and honoring the dead,” Fraenkel said.
ZAKA received official UN recognition as an advisory organization in January. The UN Committee on Non-Governmental Organizations made the decision to recognize ZAKA following a four-year Israeli diplomatic campaign.
Tazpit News Agency