Zaka Recover Missing Minister's Body
Submitted to: Organisations 
Posted: February 26 2007


February 26 2007 ( - As one of the worldís leading Rescue and Recovery organisations, and recognised by the United Nations as an international humanitarian service, ZAKA volunteers were dispatched to France last week following the disappearance of David Dahan, member of the Procurement department for the Israeli Ministry of Defence based in France.

David Dahan disappeared one month ago leaving behind a suicide note. After reading about ZAKAís newly formed Diverís Unit, Dahan's family turned to ZAKA for help, who immediately dispatched a team. Funded by the Israeli Foreign Ministry, and comprised of ex-military experts, the ten ZAKA volunteers left for France on 10 February to join the French police in their search.

Davidís car was found near to the bridge in the Northern city of Rouen. Following concerns that he may have drowned, the ZAKA Divers Unit, working with the French defence authorities, devised an operational plan. After measuring the water temperature and current of the Seine, they estimated that Dahanís body should float on the water surface between 14 and 30 days after his disappearance.

Sadly, their suspicions were correct and Dahanís body was found 15km from the bridge. French and Israeli officials are not discounting the possibility of foul play given the sensitive information to which Dahan had access to within his work as a representative of Israel in France.

Yesterday, David Dahanís body was returned to Israel for a proper burial and today, ZAKA volunteers joined his family and friends for the honourable funeral. ZAKA's divers were praised for their efficiency and devotion to the human dignity of the living and dead.

Chaim Otmagzin, Head of the Diversí Unit, commented;

ďOur thoughts go out to David Dahanís family, and we hope that now Davidís body has been found, and he can be buried with dignity, they can finally begin the grieving processí.

A friend of David Dahanís family commented; ďWe are grateful to ZAKA for going to France to search for our friend David, at least now his family can finally begin to accept what has happened and can honour David in the way he deserves.Ē

ZAKAís Divers Unit is comprised largely of secular volunteers, something that the Chairman of ZAKA, Dudi Zilbershlag, takes pride in. "When you're searching for a body, the gap between secular and Haredi melts away," says one of the new volunteers, Sigala Shoham of Tel Aviv. "When you need to do the job, you simply jump into the water." The training and practice sessions are completed at the volunteersí own expense, to date this year has cost £13,000, and involve mastering difficult rescue techniques to refine the diversí navigation and search skills.


ZAKA is a humanitarian voluntary organisation with over 1000 volunteers who respond to tragic incidents in Israel. ZAKA is the dominant rescue, life saving and recovery non-governmental organisation in Israel, working alongside law enforcement and emergency personnel in responding to incidents of terrorism, accidents or disasters.


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