French MDA volunteers among funeral attendees

French Friends of MDA had donated all of the ambulances and mobile intensive care units that were present.

March 22, 2012 02:45
1 minute read.
Mourners at funeral of Toulouse shooting victims

Mourners at funeral of Toulouse shooting victims 390 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Baz Ratner)


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Among the throngs of people who accompanied the Toulouse terror victims as they were interred were Magen David Adom volunteers from France and local Israeli medics and paramedics, some of whom knew the families.

French Friends of MDA had donated all of the ambulances and mobile intensive care units that were present. The French volunteers arrived in Israel a few months ago to do a year’s service as MDA staffers. “We came to save lives. We never thought we would have to accompany the funerals of four of our French friends,” agreed the shocked and tearful volunteers.

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About 30 people were injured during the funeral due to heat and crowding. A man was hurt when a car tire went over his foot. Five of all the injured were taken to the hospital.

Meanwhile, ZAKA rescue and recovery organization chairman and founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav said he had personally ensured that Rabbi Yonatan Sandler – who was not an Israeli citizen – was granted the status of an Israeli victim of terror. Official recognition by the National Insurance Institute as a victim of terror meant that Sandler and the three children were flown to Israel and given a burial plot by the state. In addition, the family will now receive ongoing financial support as victims of terror.

The ZAKA International Rescue Unit handled all aspects to transfer the four bodies to Israel. A delegation from Israel, headed by ZAKA International Rescue Unit commander Mati Goldstein, joined the volunteers from the ZAKA France. The teams worked at the school, clearing the scene and assisting in the forensic identification of the victims.

Tens of ZAKA volunteers were on scene at Ben-Gurion Airport as the El Al plane carrying the victims touched down. A short memorial service was held at the airport after which the bodies were transferred in ZAKA ambulances to their final resting place in Jerusalem.

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