IDF rescuers honored 20 years after AMIA Jewish center attack

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli team that came to Buenos Aires 20 years ago to help in the search for life below the debris of the attacked AMIA Jewish center building was recognized in Israel by AMIA authorities.

The ceremony was held July 4 at  the Keren Hayesod building in Jerusalem.

The special rescue unit was created in 1983, according to Roni Kaplan, director of the Israel Defense Forces spokesman’s Spanish office. Kaplan said the unit saved lives not only in Buenos Aire but also Mexico, Lebanon, Armenia and Kenya.

“Our experience in Buenos Aires was different than any other because of the collaborative work we did together with the local Jewish community,” said rescuer Shai Burstein. “More than 100 youths joined us. The parents of these youths brought us hot food, kosher food.”

AMIA leaders were in Israel to mark the 120th anniversary of the founding of the Jewish center and the 20th year commemoration of the AMIA attack in 1994 that killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Ariel Cohen Sabban, AMIA’s treasurer, said that “we will never forget the perpetrators of the attack that killed 85 people. We will never forget that Israel helped us.”

 

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