There are plenty of times when the notifying team arrives at a family's home and after knocking on the door realize no one is home.
"If the family isn't at home we try to find them," says Zilka. Under no circumstances will they report the news to a family member over the phone.
"We don't know how they're going to react," he explains. "After we tell them the news we don't even let them tell other family members over the phone."
If need be, the team travels to the home of every member of the family in order to inform them of the death face to face.
In fact, if one family member is at work, the team will even go to the workplace. There, they speak with whoever is in charge and call the family member into a private office to notify them of the news, because even though the atmosphere seems inappropriate, it is more important, says Zilka, to make sure the family knows as soon as possible.
In the case of a hayal boded (lone soldier) whose family lives abroad, the news is passed on from the Minhal Nifga'im and Katzin Ha'ir in Israel to the Israeli consulate or embassy in the country where they reside. The military attach there is notified of the death, and with a doctor travels to the family's home to inform them. If there is no military attach in the country, it is the duty of the consul himself to notify the family.
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