Israeli army conducts daring rescue of Arab villagers

( Amid one of the worst storms to hit Israel in decades, the Israel Defense Forces was busy helping both Israelis and Arabs stranded by the extreme weather.

In the Arab village of Baka al-Gharbiya near Haifa on Jan. 8, the Air Force’s special search and rescue division, Unit 669, conducted a dramatic helicopter rescue of 15 villagers who were trapped on a rooftop, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Rapidly rising waters had prevented ambulances from Magen David Adom (the Israeli Red Cross) from reaching the trapped villagers.

 “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),” said the helicopter pilot, according to Ynet.  

Meanwhile, the same IDF unit also conducted another rescue of a family in the nearby Arab village of Tayibe.

Posted on January 15, 2013 .