Today Commander Ahuva Tomer, Police Chief of the Haifa station (Israel’s largest police station) passed away from her injuries. She was one of the first to respond to distress calls on the road to Beit Oren in the beginning of the Mt. Carmel Fires. She was buried today at 3:00 PM in the Military Cemetery in Haifa. Ahuva was 52 and was the highest ranking female Police officer in the service. She was destined for great things, a leader for women in the armed forces and was loved and admired by her peers. She exemplified the bravery and dedication of a true police officer until her last minutes.
During the first hours of the Carmel Fires a TV crew on the scene recognized her and she briefly stopped to let them ask her a question. She was driving with her Operations Commander of her station, who was killed as well, and she just sped off into the flames. That was the last time she was seen unharmed. The bus as well as the police cruiser were burnt to ashes when the fire engulfed the road they were on. Fire fighters managed to get her out of her cruiser and for the past 3 days she managed to battle the burns to 80% of her body, until her condition deteriorated suddenly this morning. She is the 42nd victim of this disaster.
Eli Yishai still thinks he holds no responsibility for this. He feels the media is “lynching” him unfairly.
Information, help and donations to the Carmel Fire victims – HERE
**See updates below.
Eli Yishai is the Minister of Internal Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister. The National Fire Department services are directly under his responsibility. He is the head of the Shas party and is an important part of the coalition that keeps Netanyahu’s party in government. He is the directly responsible guilty party that should be held responsible. He should be discharged from his position in government. He will not be. Our government is weak and this is the corrupt political structure we have. In a few months another commission will make suggestions and some low level dismissals will take place.
The only thing Eli Yishai will always worry about is money for the Orthodox party he represents (Shas) and, the all important fact the migrants should not be allowed to settle in Israel and are the cause of disease. This is what he considers the priorities of his office!
In my opinion Eli Yishai is a disease for Israel. He represents the uneducated, ignorent (Iran like), corrupt cancer that is eating up Israel and turning it into a fundamental, religious, backward country. Considering this is the only Jewish state we have, maybe we should not let this happen. As long as people like Eli Yishai can be allowed to govern and hold positions in the highest levels of government disasters like this will continue to happen.
Over 40 were killed in the last few hours in a fire that is raging on the carmel mountain and several other points in the North of Israel. There 135 firefighters – 135! that are fighting this mega fire and so far there is no signs of slowing down.
One of the main disasters of this event is the death of 40 officer trainees that were called into the scene to help the firefighters and were burnt alive in the bus that was taking them to the scene.
An ongoing investigation is showing that this maybe an arson and that the fire started in 3 different locations at the same time.
The recent weeks have been dry and there were no rainy days at all, making this one of the driest spells in Israel’s history. The North of Israel has been experiencing one of the worst “winters” in history with a record number of fires occurring in the past few weeks. The warning signs were there all the time and firefighters were warning that resources were low. Tonight when the “mother of all fires” has hit, it finds Israel unprepared.
Reinforcements are being called in from France, Greece, Cyprus and Bulgaria and there is a hope that planes with fire extinguishing equipment will be arriving later tonight.
A high ranking police officer Chief Deputy for Haifa Police (Ahuva Tomer) was interviewed earlier tonight, a few hours later she was caught in the flames and is now in critical condition in hospital with 80% burns to her body. Doctors are fighting for her life.
We are getting reports of several firefighters who are currently missing and some injured are being evacuated to the local Haifa hospitals. The current list of evacuated locations are:
UPDATE 11:02 PM 2/10/10
4 prisoners escaped tonight taking advantage of the evacuation of the local prisons in the area in a police vehicle (feel like the apocalypse yet?). They apparently took advantage of the evacuation of the Damun prison. The Prison Authority is now looking at the case and are checking the details. Damun Prison holds illegal aliens and petty crime offenders.
Interviews are showing the evacuees from local neighborhoods in the Carmel being moved to local hotels and hostels in the area. The forecast so far is that the fire will not end quickly and that the fire will continue to rage unhampered until the beginning of next week.
Another “interesting” announcement – Turkey our close “friend” has offered help. We should really check that they are not going to use this excuse as a way of landing equipment in Gaza as a way to “help”…
Barak has managed to get a commitment from the French government of approx. 40 tons of fire extinguishing materials.
Why are we asking for help from Azerbaijan?
Why doesn’t Israel “have the necessary tools to extensguish the fire” (Benjamin Netanyahu)?
How is a country like Israel, a supposedly advanced country, not have the capability to protect its citizens from a fire this size?
Is anyone going to be held responsible for this fuck up?
Will it be the right person (see above)?
UPDATE 8:02 AM 3/10/10
Planes from Bulgaria and Greece have landed in Ramat David airfield and with them a Bulgarian plane with 100 firefighters. There are so far 15,000 evacuees in the Carmel area. Kibbutz Beit Oren was 20% burnt down it was also the location of the bus that was burnt earlier. Additional towns that were evacuated include Osafia, Nir Etzion, and Tirat Hacarmel.
Ecologically this is the worst disaster ever in Israel. The Carmel woods were considered the most beautiful National Reserve in Israel and they are completely gone – 7.7 Square Miles of forest are gone and the fire is still raging.
The winds in the morning are intense and the fire is continuing to rage. Over night the fire reached highway 4 and it is now closed from Faradis Interchange in the North. So far there are 41 killed. Two Police officers and 2 firefighters are missing.
Tirat Hacarmel is being evacuated now and over the early hours of the morning Denia (a lucrative neighborhood) was evacuated as well.