Independent Media Center, Israel

Hatzolah Volunteers Rescue Babies from Buring BusWednesday 20 Aug 2003
author: Kalman Rushdie

Hatzolah Volunteers Rescue Babies from Buring Bus


When terrorists blew up the #2 bus on Jerusalem’s Shmuel Hanagid St., the bus had just passed the home of Hatzolah-Jerusalem member Yossi Rafaeli. The emergency rescue specialist immediately rushed to the scene to help the injured until the ambulances began to arrive.

The first thing he saw, he said, were children and babies lying on the street covered in blood. “I don’t remember anything more than treating babies that were separated from their parents in the attack, some as small as a few months old,” he said.

“I was putting my own children to sleep when the explosion happened,” he continued. “Then I ran out into the street and started trying to save all the children I could find who were injured. I did my best to calm the small children down. When we got them into the ambulances, I started singing them a song to try to soothe them. It was the same song I was singing to my kids before the terror struck.”

Eli Beer, one of senior members of Hatzolah-Jerusalem, said he was on his way home from Ashkelon when his beeper alerted him to the bombing. “My first thought was that it was a mistake,” he said. “I thought, ‘we’re in a cease-fire, there can’t be a huge terror attack right in the middle of Yerushalayim.’ But when I got to the scene, I couldn’t believe my eyes.

“The first thing I saw was a woman fighting with rescue workers who wanted to take her to the hospital. She kept screaming, ‘I’m not leaving without my baby,’ over and over. Her one-month old daughter had already been taken to the hospital. But she survived the attack.”

Hatzolah Jerusalem is a rapid-response rescue organization that treats the wounded at the scene of terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

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