Friday, September 18, 2015

Israeli rescue teams search for national missing in Ukraine 

Two Israeli emergency organizations on Friday sent rescue teams to Ukraine to assist in the search for an Israeli man who has been missing since early this week.

Volunteers from IsraLife and First will join efforts to locate Amir Ohana, who was reported missing during the annual Rosh Hashanah pilgrimage to Uman, where Rabbi Nachman, founder of the Breslov Hasidic movement, is buried.

The 28-year-old father of three from Bat Yam has not been seen since Tuesday morning, when he told friends and family he was going to take a walk in a nearby forest to meditate alone.

According to a report in Channel 2, five of Ohana’s friends also traveled to Ukraine Friday to assist in the search efforts. Members of Ohana’s family told the television station they were disappointed in the government’s efforts to locate him.

However, a Foreign Ministry representative told Channel 2 that Israeli officials — who were already in Uman due to the large influx of Israeli pilgrims — were at the scene and coordinating with local authorities in the search for Ohana.

The teams will join the Israeli consulate, a travel insurance company, local police and another Israeli rescue organization ZAKA, who have launched a massive search in the Uman area for Ohana in recent days.

ZAKA said its team included both a canine and divers unit as well as search-and-rescue drone operators.

On Thursday, Ohana’s wife tearfully told Channel 10 on Thursday that her husband suffers from epilepsy, and she feared for his life.

“Amir, my love, my heart goes out to you in prayer. Come back to me,” she wrote on the couple’s joint Facebook page that day. “Father, have mercy on me, without him I have no life,” she said before asking people to pray on his behalf.

Ohana’s family said that due to his medical condition, he was unable to obtain insurance for his trip, so there was no possibility of sending an official search team from Israel.

Thousands of Israelis visit the Ukrainian city of Uman each year on Rosh Hashanah to pay respects to the 18th century Hasidic sage Nachman of Breslov who is buried there.

The pilgrimage has generated friction between the predominantly Israeli tourists and locals, many of whom resent the cordoning off by police of neighborhoods for the pilgrims.

Last week, Ukrainian nationalists destroyed a tent city erected by Hasidic Jews in Uman ahead of the pilgrimage, a local Jewish leader said.


Comments: Post a Comment

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Chaptzem! Blog