City Notes: New MDA ambulance station opens in Fureidis

Weekly wrap-up of local news around the country.

Magen David Adom ambulance 311 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Magen David Adom ambulance 311
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Magen David Adom opened a new ambulance station in the Arab town of Fureidis last week in a festive launch ceremony. The new station, along with a brand new ambulance, was made possible by a donation from the Friends of Magen David Adom in the Netherlands. Forty volunteers, 10 ambulance drivers and dozens of youth volunteers will work at the new station.
Fureidis locals, members of the MDA leadership and a delegation of Netherlands Friends of MDA were present at the inauguration ceremony. Speaking at the launch, Dutch Ambassador Caspar Veldkamp said: “The traditionally strong bond between Israel and the Netherlands goes far beyond official government contacts or business relations. It also includes relations between the civil societies of both countries. I appreciate that the Arab part of Israeli society is included in this relationship.”
Dr. Marjan Sprecher, head of Dutch Friends, remarked that the new station was important for both the people of the Netherlands and for residents of Fureidis and other area villages.
Fureidis Mayor Yunes Merei thanked the Dutch Friends for helping to establish the station, calling it a “big and meaningful” event for the community.
The station is expected to be expanded in the future to include intensive care services.
TAU study in Kinneret reveals evidence of Bronze Age climate crisis
A study of fossil pollen particles in sediments extracted from the bottom of Lake Kinneret revealed evidence of a climate crisis that traumatized the Near East from the middle of the 13th to the late 12th century BCE, a Tel Aviv University spokesman announced last week. The crisis brought about the collapse of the great empires of the Bronze Age, he said.
“In a short period of time, the entire world of the Bronze Age crumbled,” explained TAU’s Prof. Israel Finkelstein.
“The Hittite empire, Egypt of the pharaohs, the Mycenaean culture in Greece, the copper-producing kingdom located on the island of Cyprus, the great trade emporium of Ugarit on the Syrian coast and the Canaanite city-states under Egyptian hegemony – all disappeared and only after a while were replaced by the territorial kingdoms of the Iron Age, including Israel and Judah.”
The researchers drilled beneath the lake and retrieved a core of sediments 20 meters long from its bed, with the aim of extracting fossil pollen grains from the sediments.
Palynologist Dr. Dafna Langgut explained that pollen is the most enduring organic material in nature, and from pollen particles researchers can learn about the past vegetation that grew in the area of the lake – and thus, about regional climate conditions.
“The advantage of our study, compared to pollen investigations carried out at other locations in the Near East, is in the unprecedented resolution of a sample about every 40 years,” Finkelstein asserted. “Pollen is usually sampled in a resolution of several hundreds of years, and this is indeed logical when one is interested in prehistoric matters and glacial and inter-glacial cycles.
Since we were interested in historical periods, we had to sample in denser resolution; otherwise, a crisis such as the one at the end of the Bronze Age would have escaped our attention.”
The latest findings are part of a series of discoveries made in a large-scale study of the Iron Age in Israel, directed by Finkelstein, incumbent of the Jacob M. Alkow Chair in the Archeology of Israel in the Bronze and Iron Ages at TAU, and Prof. Steve Weiner, of the Kimmel Center for Archeological Science at the Weizmann Institute of Science.
Movie lovers around the country enjoy NIS 10 cinema
Cinema lovers across the country took advantage of the new Movie Time initiative last Thursday, which allowed the public to watch films at the heavily discounted rate of NIS 10, and NIS 14 for 3D films.
All Israeli cinema chains participated in the initiative, in a bid to draw more people to movie theaters. The event is expected to become an annual tradition, as is done in many other countries.
Some 40 cinemas participated in the initiative, including Cinema City, Yes Planet, Rav Chen, Lev Globus and Globus Max.
Data show there has been a 50% increase in movie viewing in Israeli cinemas over the past five years.
Cinema Industry Association director Danny Kafri said, “The Israeli audience likes the cinema, and this is seen in the rise of ticket sales... This is a good opportunity for the Israeli film industry to thank, salute and share its success with the audience.”
Kafri noted that in recent years hundreds of millions of shekels have been invested in opening cinema leisure complexes, and expressed confidence that Movie Time would encourage the public to visit more theaters.
Nonprofit calls on young professionals to help lonely Holocaust survivors
The Adopt-A-Safta organization called this week on young professionals to register for a training session as part of its care scheme for Holocaust survivors. Two sessions are due to be held in Tel Aviv on November 12 and 17, to train volunteers wanting to work with Holocaust survivors in need.
The nonprofit initiative pairs international young professionals and Israelis with lonely Holocaust survivors, in light of data that over 50,000 such survivors live in Israel. Each team of volunteers will be responsible for visiting their “adopted” grandmother or grandfather over the year, as well as regularly calling them and reporting on their well-being.
“Our goal is to train as many volunteers as possible and to connect these two communities – young professionals seeking to make meaningful contributions, and the survivors in need of warmth and connection – while we still are blessed with the presence of this holy generation,” the organization states.
“Shoah survivors are an invaluable treasure, and they deserve a treasure that alleviates some of their suffering. We believe that the State of Israel has such an invaluable resource now. We are talking about our incredible community of young professional internationals and Israelis who grasp the importance of social justice, volunteerism and activism, specifically in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem,” it continues.
The group is teaming up with the Tel Aviv and Jerusalem municipalities, for their knowledge of the needs of each survivor, and their skills in training volunteers.
“Those 50,000 that were lonely last year for the holidays will not be alone anymore. Please join us in Adopt-A-Safta,” the group says in its appeal to potential volunteers.
Woman allegedly fabricated rape attempt
A woman from central Israel called the police last weekend to report that a man from the western Negev area had attacked her and attempted to rape her, the Local website reported.
Ofakim police located the suspect and the complainant and brought them both to the police station, according to the report. In her initial questioning, the woman, who is in her 20s, told police that the man had attacked her and ripped her shirt while trying to sexually assault her.
The man, in his 30s, denied the allegations, telling police he had met the woman on Facebook a few months earlier and they had formed a relationship. He said they had agreed to meet at his home on Friday and have sexual relations for payment. When they met, he explained, events did not proceed as planned and he consequently took his money back, while she called the police and reported attempted rape.
After the pair had been questioned, the woman was taken for further investigation, at which point she reportedly admitted she had fabricated her version of events. Both the man and woman were released on bail.
Man plummets to death in Judean Desert
A man in his 60s died last weekend after he fell from a height of 50 meters while hiking in Wadi Kelt in the Judean Desert.
Paramedics and air force rescue personnel arrived at the scene to extricate the man from the valley, and attempted to save his life before pronouncing him dead.
In a separate incident, a 66-year-old tourist from Japan drowned after apparently inhaling large amounts water at the Dead Sea’s Mineral Beach.
MDA paramedics pronounced the woman dead following attempts to revive her.