The head of the Antakya Jewish community in Turkey, Saul Cenudioglu and his wife Fortuna, were found dead in the ruins of their home on Thursday – according to ZAKA, who said they were found by its volunteers and the Israeli IDF delegation.
Turkish-Israeli Rabbi Mendy Chitrik has said that the report is semi-incorrect since only the body of Fortuna was found. “There was a mistake in the identification of Saul,” he told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.
The Israeli special rescue team
After three days of efforts and attempts, last night, a special rescue team arrived in Antakya, Turkey, consisting of Home Front Command soldiers and ZAKA volunteers.
The rescue team arrived at a building that collapsed in the earthquake, where the head of the Jewish community and his wife lived, and who had been identified as missing since the collapse. “The rescuers worked intensively with dedication and in difficult conditions for many hours, until the two were found. Unfortunately, they were found dead,” a ZAKA press release said.
After they are located, the Israeli delegation will continue focusing on Turkish civilians in the area.
Israel's chief rabbi allows Israeli rescue teams to continue working on Shabbat
Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau issued a halachic decision on Thursday allowing the Israeli rescue teams to continue their activities this coming Shabbat in Turkey.
“A terrible disaster occurred this week in Turkey,” Lau wrote. “A severe earthquake hit many cities and many buildings collapsed on their inhabitants.”
Lau said in the letter, issued to the heads of the delegation in Turkey, that the Israeli field hospital should continue to work normally and provide all medical assistance to the wounded who need it, as well as to the people of the area who need medical assistance.”
He added that “wherever there is any chance of saving lives and finding survivors, the engineering team must continue its activities.”