The IDF Rescue Team That Recovered Most of the Dead in the Surfside Disaster

Of the 97 individuals whose remains have been located and identified amid the ruins of the Champlain Towers in Surfside, 81 were found by the Israeli military’s National Rescue Unit—which spent fifteen days digging through the rubble. Wendy Rhodes spoke with the unit’s commander, Lieutenant Colonol Golan Vach:

Vach related how, within hours of receiving approval from the U.S. to join the rescue efforts, his team boarded a commercial flight to Miami. On the plane were fifteen of his delegation’s “best people,” Vach said. They arrived at 8 a.m. on Sunday, June 27, the morning of the fourth day of rescue efforts. And while they were not scheduled to begin work until noon, he said, the team headed straight to the collapse site.

[Vach’s] team did not use dogs . . . but rather a formula that had been honed over almost 40 years. It was expertise developed from responder missions in wars and catastrophic events in Israel and around the world, including in Lebanon, Cyprus, Haiti, Japan, Mexico, Egypt, Honduras, and India. The team had even been on hand to assist during Hurricane Katrina when it flooded and devastated New Orleans in 2005.

So, like attempting to solve the most gruesome of puzzles, Vach’s team poured its sweeping knowledge into studying the pile of concrete, rebar, and assorted building materials along with victims’ consumer goods and personal possessions. . . .

His team also helped family members of the missing arrange travel from places such as Israel, Venezuela, and Colombia, . . . and the Israeli embassy in Washington helped them even further when they arrived in Miami.

Read more at Palm Beach Post

More about: Florida, IDF, Israeli technology, US-Israel relations

As Hamas’s Power Collapses, Old Feuds Are Resurfacing

In May, Mahmoud Nashabat, a high-ranking military figure in the Fatah party (which controls the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority), was gunned down in central Gaza. Nashabat was an officer in the Gaza wing of the Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigade, a terrorist outfit that served as Fatah’s vanguard during the second intifada, and now sometimes collaborates with Hamas. But his killers were Hamas members, and he was one of at least 35 Palestinians murdered in Gaza in the past two months as various terrorist and criminal groups go about settling old scores, some of which date back to the 1980s. Einav Halabi writes:

Security sources familiar with the situation told the London-based newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat that Gaza is now also beleaguered by the resurgence of old conflicts. “Many people have been killed in incidents related to the first intifada in 1987, while others have died in family disputes,” they said.

The “first-intifada portfolio” in Gaza is considered complex and convoluted, as it is filled with hatred among residents who accuse others of killing relatives for various reasons, including collaboration with Israel. . . . According to reports from Gaza, there are vigorous efforts on the ground to contain these developments, but the chances of success remain unclear. Hamas, for its part, is trying to project governance and control, recently releasing several videos showcasing how its operatives brutally beat residents accused of looting.

These incidents, gruesome as they are, suggest that Hamas’s control over the territory is slipping, and it no longer holds a monopoly on violence or commands the fear necessary to keep the population in line. The murders and beatings also dimension the grim reality that would ensue if the war ends precipitously: a re-empowered Hamas setting about getting vengeance on its enemies and reimposing its reign of terror.

Read more at Ynet

More about: Fatah, Gaza War 2023, Hamas