An Interview With An Israeli Rescued From St. Maarten Island By The US Military During The Storm

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As reported earlier by YWN, the U.S. Military rescued the family of the Chabad Shliach from the Caribbean Island of St. Maarten. Additionally at least 10 Israelis were flown by the U.S. Military as well.

YWN interviewed Lior Ronen, asking him to briefly describe the events surrounding his rescue.

We begin with a bit of background information – events that were taking place to assist in bringing them off the island. Rabbi Moshe Chanowits (who stayed behind on the island), managed to get the US military to fly these Israelis off the island once all the Americans were off and safe. Rabbi Mendel Zarchi, who is the shaliach to Puerto Rico as well as overseeing Chabad activities in the Caribbean, met them at the army base when they arrived, bringing them to his Chabad House where he happily hosted them.

YWN:

Can you describe what took place?

Lior:

B”H we are out. Everyone got out safely and there is significant property damage. There are concerns for safety are there are armed gangs roving the area and there is no running water or electricity. There is no reliable information, only disinformation.

YWN:

How did you get to Puerto Rico?

Lior:

Via the Americans, we were lifted by Puerto Rico Air (National) Guard. It was arranged by Chabad Rav Rabbi Moshe Chanowits. They took us on board without making a big deal and we were treated very well. They were genuinely concerned for us. We are now in the Beit Chabad here, me and one other.

YWN:

How many Israelis were there total?

Lior:

We were five Israelis arriving.

YWN:

Did Americans take others beside Israelis? French people?

Lior:

Yes, they took others too after all the Americans were evacuated and other nationalities too.

YWN:

Was the French Air Force there?

Lior:

No, it was not but I think the Dutch Air Force was.

YWN:

Thank you so so much!

Lior:

No, thank you to the U. S. Military and the Chabad of St. Marteen and Chabad of Puerto Rico which really saved us!!

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)