IDF’s Ultra-Orthodox unit use civilian tractor to pull Palestinians trapped in car; 669 unit helicopter boards Palestinian family trapped on roof surrounded by water, power lines
Lifesaving cooperation occurred Tuesday between haredi IDF troops and Palestinians who were trapped in a stream growing violent due to the stormy weather.
Soldiers of the IDF’s haredi battalion Netzah Yehuda managed to rescue three Palestinian men before the fierce currents washed over them. Ynet obtained a documentation of the rescue.
The IDF troops were called to an area near the Nablus River, where, they were told, cars were stranded with their drivers trapped in a constantly intensifying current.
The storm was too severe for helicopters to arrive at the scene, and the battalion commander resorted to utilizing a Palestinian’s tractor that was passing by.
The commander mounted the tractor, as he and the owner drove toward the trapped cars, rescuing three men. A fourth man is known to have also been trapped in the river, but he was not found and was reported missing.
The tractor exited the flooded area just before the asphalt started collapsing. The soldiers gave the rescued men initial medical care at the scene.
Throughout Wednesday, Netzah Yehuda rescued some 33 people, of whom 30 who were trapped in a bus. In many of the rescues, the troops worked in cooperation with the Palestinian Authority’s rescue forces.
Unit 669’s intricate rescue
The Air Force’s special search and rescue division, Unit 669, involved in Tuesday’s rescues resulting from the stormy weather, also faced a challenging rescue mission on Wednesday, when it was called in to help a family trapped on the roof of a Tayibe house, surrounded by water.
“As we flew closer,” recounted the helicopter pilot called to the scene, “we noticed high voltage lines.” Guided by ground forces, the helicopter hovered over the roof, and “When we were just above the family, soldiers slid down ropes to the roof.”
Working in between the power lines in the harsh weather conditions, the 669 helicopter eventually managed to rescue all the trapped family members.
“The soldiers reached the family and reported via radio that they were with eight people, including children. One by one we cast down more ropes and started pulling people up into the helicopter. It took us an hour and 15 minutes to get everyone into the helicopter. From there we flew directly to Beilinson (Rabin Medical Center in Petah Tikva),” the helicopter pilot said.
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4330660,00.html