Over a month after the tragedy, the Israeli Air Force posted the video of the rescue on its English-language Twitter page.
Video Credit: IDF Spokesperson’s Unit
When a group of teenagers found themselves in the middle of an intense flash flood in southern Israel on a rainy Thursday afternoon in April, the IDF’s elite Airborne Combat, Search and Rescue Unit 669 was rushed to the scene to rescue them. The special forces were able to rescue 13 of them unharmed while two others sustained minor injuries. However, ten of the young hikers were killed.
On Saturday evening, over a month after the tragedy, the IDF released never-before-seen footage of the rescue mission. In the video, which was uploaded to the Israeli Air Force’s English-language Twitter page, the elite forces are seen descending from a helicopter into the dangerous stream in the Arava region and rescue some of the teenagers.
The ten teenagers who were killed in the flash flood tragedy were identified as Shani Shamir, Ella Or, Maayan Barhum, Yael Sadan, Tzur Alfi, Agam Levy, Romi Cohen, Gali Balali, Adi Raanan and Ilan Bar Shalom.
Unit 669 soldiers rescuing teenagers Photo Credit: Twitter screenshot/IDF
A senior Unit 669 commander told Hadashot news after the release of the footage that a soldier from his team saved four of the teenagers. “When he reached the teenagers, he first rescued a girl who was in the poorest condition out of the four of them and brought her up to the helicopter. Just like this, four times he did this, until all of them were rescued,” the commander explained.