Israelis Part of Successful Rescue

In a fascinating example of co-operation with their new allies, Israelis have once again been part of an international rescue operation. Late last week, reports emerged of 41 Afghans being rescued from Kabul where they were at significant risk from the Taliban.

Israeli NGO IsraAID worked with the United Arab Emirates to complete a daring rescue mission that brought dozens of sportswomen, female rights activists and a singer to safety in Abu Dhabi. They included 19 members of a cycling team, three robotics team members and some of their relatives.

Yotam Polizer, CEO of IsraAID, said that the rescuers faced a daunting challenge as they searched the city for people at risk under Taliban rule.

Later the mission experienced a nervous two-day delay in a safe house at the border with Tajikistan, waiting for the Tajik government to grant permission for them to enter. Polizer explained:

“The stressful part really was around the border, there were a lot of Taliban in the area.
They were not allowed to leave the shelter and we were very stressed that
someone might find them.”

Eventually they were met by Israeli aid workers in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe. They then boarded a jet chartered by a Canadian-Israeli billionaire that flew them to the UAE where communications official Afra Al Hameli tweeted a photo of their arrival.

Israeli-UAE rescue tweet

Under Taliban rule in the 1990s, girls were prohibited from attending school and women were banned from work and education.

In a sign of things returning to that condition, last Friday it was reported that the women’s ministry in Kabul had been converted into the “Ministries of Prayer and Guidance and the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice.” That ministry previously ran a feared police force which implemented the Taliban’s extreme interpretation of Sharia law.