Haiti: Woman gives birth in IDF emergency field hospital

Mother names boy 'Israel'; Israeli search teams to stop looking for survivors in 24 hours, Jpost's E.B. Solomont reports from Port-au-Prince.

Awoman who was eight months pregnant gave birth in the IDF fieldhospital in Haiti at 2:30 a.m., Sunday. The IDF reported that theinfant, a boy, was named Israel. The woman was the first to give birthat the field hospital.
The Israeli search teams operating inHaiti will cease looking for survivors buried beneath rubble as ofMonday, Army Radio reported Sunday evening.
Team commandersreportedly determined that the chances of finding anyone alive morethan four days after the quake will be very slim.
Home FrontCommand soldiers currently in Haiti will nonetheless remain on theisland, at least until Thursday, and assist IDF medical teams at theIsraeli field hospital.
Earlier Sunday The IDF reported that ithad rescued a 52-year-old man from the ruins. The trapped man hadcommunicated his location by sending a text message on a cellphone.
OnSaturday Israeli rescue and medical teams quickly joined theinternational effort on to locate and extricate survivors and provideaid to the millions of Haitians rendered helpless by last Tuesday'sdevastating earthquake.
Haitianofficials are speculating that the death toll may be anywhere from50,000 to 200,000, and vast numbers of bodies are being buried in massgraves to try to reduce the spread of disease.
A third ofHaiti's 9 million people are believed to require aid, with 300,000living on the streets here in the capital alone. The UN has describedthe disaster as the most challenging it has faced in terms of resourcesneeded. A strongly felt aftershock, measured at 4.5 on the Richterscale, further complicated rescue efforts on Saturday, forcing a briefsuspension of relief activities.
A ZAKA rescue unit, deployed ata collapsed multi-story university building, managed to extricate eightstudents from the rubble over the weekend - underlining the convictionamong the Israeli rescue teams that it is not too late to save lives.
TheIsraeli delegation, which arrived on Friday, has established aheadquarters near the airport, and swiftly set up its field hospital,unloading dozens of truckloads of medical and logistical equipment. TheIDF's Medical and Rescue Team immediately began work, with two teamsfrom the Oketz canine unit pressed into action, including at the UNheadquarters in the capital where there was hope of locating andextricating survivors.
Meanwhile, the last Israeli missing inthe quake, Sharona Elsaieh, daughter of peace activist Abie Nathan,contacted her family in Israel on Friday. Elsaieh, who has been livingon the island for several years, told her family she was in goodcondition.
At Jimani Hospital, just across the border in theDominican Republic, the extent of the tragedy is overpowering. Hundredsof Haiti's walking wounded are arriving in an endless stream, needingeverything from amputations to abdominal surgery.
InsideHaiti, at the capital's General Hospital, patients lie on dirtymattresses on the floor while doctors do their best to apply splints -made from cardboard boxes - to broken limbs. Hopelessly overwhelmedmedics do their best to tend to burned and bleeding gashes amid astench of sweat and infection, with flies buzzing everywhere. Bodiesare stacked outside the building in piles.
On the wayinto Port-au-Prince, cars and trucks have jammed the streets, hugelycomplicating efforts by international aid and rescue workers todistribute supplies and reach the scenes of devastation. Haitians,covering their faces to protect against swirling dust, are tryingdesperately to get out of the city, while ambulances, sirens blazing,battle to get through.
Concrete homes have collapsed everywherein the hills of the capital, and people are squatting in empty plots ofland and outside the destroyed National Palace, seeking shade inmakeshift tents.
Some were begging for water, for food, and fortransport through the rubble-strewn streets. One man was selling abottle of juice for $7; others were begging for food.
Max PierreLouis, who works for an organization that treats people with HIV/AIDS,said the 600 adults and 300 children he works with were renderedhomeless by the earthquake. "We need help," he said simply.
Notfar away, Dieudonne Jackson was searching for his brother's body in therubble. "He was working on the second floor," he said, motioning to thecollapsed building beside him. "I don't find him yet."
Crowds ofHaitians are thronging around the foreign workers shoveling throughpiles of wreckage at shattered buildings throughout the city, usingsniffer dogs, shovels and in some cases heavy earth-moving equipment.
Searcherspoked a camera on a wire thorough a hole at the collapsed Hotel Montanaand spotted three people who were still alive, and they heard the voiceof a woman speaking French, said Ecuadorian Red Cross worker DavidBetancourt.
An El Al Boeing 777 and an IDF plane had landed onFriday with 250 Israeli medical officers and nurses for the 90-bedfield hospital, which includes a full surgical unit and is able totreat 100 patients at a time.
Jewish organizations, includingthe American Jewish World Service and the Joint Distribution Committee,are also already working with partners on the ground here. The JDC isworking with Heart to Heart to bring in and distribute medical aid,equipment and services. It also is working with the IDF Medical Corps,and has purchased equipment including infant incubators and orthopedicdevices.
Chabad sent four trucks of vegetables into the country.
"Wesee people on the road asking for food," Rabbi Shimon Pelman, Chabad'semissary in Santo Domingo, said as he traveled by car from theDominican Republican into Haiti just before Shabbat. Crossing theborder, he said, was like entering another world. "You see a bignothing. You just see people asking for food and water."
InWashington, US President Barack Obama joined with his predecessorsGeorge W. Bush and Bill Clinton on Saturday to appeal for donations tohelp Haiti and his secretary of state, Hillary Rodham Clinton, arrivedin the Caribbean nation to coordinate with officials on the ground.
"Westand united with the people of Haiti, who have shown such incredibleresilience, and we will help them to recover and to rebuild," Obamavowed.
"By coming together in this way, these two leaders sendan unmistakable message to the people of Haiti and to the people of theworld," Obama said in the Rose Garden, standing between Bush andClinton.
The two former presidents have created a Web site, http://www.clintonbushhaitifund.org, to collect donations. They said potential donors should know that their money will be spent wisely.
Bushsaid the best way for people to help in Haiti is by sending money. "Iknow a lot of people want to send blankets or water. Just send yourcash," said Bush, who made his first visit to the Oval Office sinceleaving the White House in January 2009.
Clinton, who also isthe special UN envoy to Haiti, said he had stayed in Haitian hotelsthat collapsed during Tuesday's earthquake and dined with people whowere killed in the disaster. "It is still one of the most remarkable,unique places I have ever been," he said.
Haiti's Prime MinisterJean-Max Bellerive said an estimated 300,000 people are living on thestreets in Port-au-Prince, and "getting them water, and food, and ashelter is our top priority."
The US military operating Haiti'sdamaged main airport said it can now handle 90 flights a day, but thatwasn't enough to cope with all the planes sent by foreign donors andgovernments circling overhead in hopes of winning one of the few spotsavailable on the tarmac.
France's Cooperation Minister AlainJoyandet said he had filed an official complaint to the US governmentafter two French planes, one carrying a field hospital, were deniedpermission to land.
A plane carrying the prime ministers of twoCaribbean nations also was forced to turn back late on Friday due to alack of space at the airport, the Caricom trade bloc announced.
Haitian President Rene Preval urged donors to avoid arguments.
"Thisis an extremely difficult situation. We must keep our cool to docoordination and not to throw accusations at each other," Preval saidafter emerging from a meeting with donor groups and nations at adilapidated police station that serves as his temporary headquarters.
Withthe National Palace and many ministries destroyed, Preval meets withministers in the open air in a circle of plastic chairs.
On astreet in the heavily damaged downtown area, the spade of a massivebulldozer quickly filled up with dead bodies headed for a morgue andimmediate burial. Bellerive said that disposing of bodies had becomecrucial.
"Sadly, we have to bring everybody to mass gravesbecause we are racing against a possible epidemic," he said. Haitiansalready have been piling bodies and burning them.
Many in the city have painted toothpaste around their nostrils and beg passers-by for surgical masks to cut the smell.
TheUS Southern Command said it now has 24 helicopters flying reliefmissions - many from warships off the coast - with 4,200 militarypersonnel involved and 6,300 more due by Monday.
But with aidstill scarce in many areas, there were scattered signs that thedesperate - or the criminal - were taking things into their own hands.
Awater delivery truck driver said he was attacked in one of the city'sslums. There were reports of isolated looting as young men walkedthrough downtown with machetes, and robbers reportedly shot one manwhose body was left on the street.
An Associated Press photographer saw one looter haul a corpse from a coffin at a city cemetery and then drive away with the box.
"Idon't know how much longer we can hold out," said Dee Leahy, a laymissionary from St. Louis who was working with nuns handing outprovisions from their small stockpile. "We need food, we need medicalsupplies, we need medicine, we need vitamins and we need painkillers.And we need it urgently."
UN spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs said thedisaster is the most challenging the UN has faced in terms of resourcesneeded. There was so much damage to local government and infrastructurethat is harder for relief agencies to work than it was after the Asiantsunami of 2004, she said.
The Red Cross is estimating that45,000 to 50,000 people were killed in Tuesday's magnitude-7.0earthquake. The Pan American Health Organization estimated the toll at50,000 to 100,000.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said theWorld Food Program was providing high-energy biscuits and ready-to-eatmeals to around 8,000 people "several times a day."
"Obviously,that is only a drop in the bucket in the face of the massive need, butthe agency will be scaling up to feed approximately 1 million peoplewithin 15 days and 2 million people within a month," he said.
Troopsfrom the US Army's 82nd Airborne Division began setting up an aidstation on a golf course in an affluent part of the city, but they hadno supplies to hand out yet and Capt. John Hartsock said it would beanother two days before they could start distributing food and water.
"We've got to wait until we've got enough established so we can hand it out in a civilized fashion," Hartsock said.
Many, though, cannot wait.
Aviolent scuffle broke out among several hundred people jostling to befirst in line as three US military helicopters were landing at the golfcourse with food and water.
The chopper pilots decided it was too dangerous to remain and took off with their precious cargo still inside.
"People are so desperate for food that they are going crazy," said Henry Ounche, an accountant who was among the crowd.
Otherefforts to get aid to the victims has been slowed by blocked roads,congestion at the airport, limited equipment and fear of violence ordisturbances. UN peacekeepers warned aid convoys to add security toguard against looting.
International Red Cross spokesman PaulConneally said a convoy with a field hospital and medical workers washeading into Haiti by road on Saturday from the Dominican Republic,because "it's not possible to fly anything into Port-au-Prince rightnow. The airport is completely congested."
The World HealthOrganization has said eight hospitals in Port-au-Prince were destroyedor damaged, severely curtailing treatment available for the injured.
Hundredsof Haitians fled east toward the Dominican Republic for care. More than300 earthquake victims were crammed into a 30-bed hospital in theborder town of Jimani, many sharing mattresses along crowded corridors,their arms drinking up IV fluids.
"The only thing left is topray for God to save my son," said a weeping Jean-Paul Dieudone, whocame to the border seeking help for his six-year-old boy after his wifeand other son died in the earthquake.
Officials said damage to the seaport also is a problem for bringing in aid. The arrival on Friday of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinsonhelped immediately by taking pressure off the airport. Within hours, an82nd Airborne Division rapid response unit was handing out food, waterand medical supplies from two cargo pallets outside the airport.
Others tried to help in smaller ways.
MileroCedamou, the 33-year-old owner of a small water delivery company, twicedrove his small tanker truck to a tent camp where thousands of homelesspeople are living. Hundreds clustered around to fill their plasticbuckets.
"This is a crisis of unspeakable magnitude; it's normal for every Haitian to help," Cedamou said. "This is not charity."
Medical teams from a dozen other nations set up makeshift hospitals to tend to the critically injured, who were still appearing.
"Wehave the hope we can find more people," said Chilean Maj. RodrigoVasquez, whose teams were trying to save those trapped at the HotelMontana. But others weren't as hopeful. One Haitian woman sittingoutside of the destroyed hotel spoke on her cellphone and sobbed. "Noone's alive in there," she said in Creole.
And soon, it will be too late in any case.
"Beyondthree or four days without water, they'll be pretty ill," said Dr.Michael VanRooyen of the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative in Boston."Around three days would be where you would see people start tosuccumb."
Still, there were improbable triumphs.
"It's amiracle," said Anne-Marie Morel, raising her arms to the sky after aneighbor was found alive in the rubble of a home. If one person couldbe resuscitated from the utter destruction of this street, thereremained hope that many other could still be found alive, she said.
"Nonsense,there is no God and no miracle," shouted back Remi Polevard, anotherneighbor, who said his five children were somewhere under the nearbydebris.
"How could he do this to us?" Polevard yelled.
USevangelical broadcaster Pat Robertson said Haiti has been "cursed"because of a "pact with the devil" in its history. His spokesman saidthe comments were based on Voodoo rituals carried out before a slaverebellion against French colonists in 1791.
But the spokesmansaid Robertson never stated that Tuesday's earthquake was God's wrath.He added that Robertson's Operation Blessing group was sending millionsof dollars in medication and relief workers to the country.
Robertson has angered opponents many times before with comments on current events and criticism of other faiths.
Heonce said American agents should assassinate Venezuelan President HugoChavez, and said prime minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divineretribution for withdrawing from the Gaza Strip in 2005.
Jpost.com staff, Judy Siegel and AP contributed to this report.