UN to send 3,500 additional troops to Haiti
Israeli crew searching for missing Canadian Jew; Israeli team to stay in Haiti for another month.
The United Nations Security Council on Tuesday unanimously agreed to temporarily increase the number of UN troops and police in Haiti by 3,500 to help maintain security and support earthquake relief efforts.
Also on Tuesday, U.S. military Black Hawk helicopters landed near the earthquake-shattered Haitian presidential palace in Port-au-Prince and dropped off troops who began unloading gear, water and food rations, witnesses said.
Some 20 helicopters, landing in relay, disgorged U.S. soldiers in full combat gear, who began unloading boxes of water bottles and food rations, as well as equipment.
They appeared to be setting up some kind of forward base at the palace, possibly prior to distributing aid to quake victims from there.
Hundreds of Haitian earthquake survivors, who had been camping out in an improvised camp near the presidential palace, rushed up to the iron railings in front of the building, peering through and awaiting aid handouts.
With comments of "Great!" and "Hear they come!" the crowd generally welcomed the arrival of the U.S. troops.
"We do not know exactly what they have come to do but I think they are here to help us, so we tell them welcome," one observer, Alex Michel, 40, said.
"We would not wish to see foreign military disembarking in our country but given the terrible situation we are in, their presence is necessary," said Moline Augustin, also watching outside the palace.
More than 11,000 U.S. military personnel are on the ground in Haiti, on ships offshore or en route. This includes Marines and troops from the 82nd Airborne.
U.S. officers say that the American troops' main mission is humanitarian, to participate in and help protect a huge international aid distribution operation for earthquake victims. But they add they will also be ready to boost security in Port-au-Prince if necessary.
Since the quake a week ago, looters and scavengers have swarmed over wrecked shops and businesses in downtown parts of the capital, carrying off what they can find and fighting among themselves. Some have been shot dead by Haitian police.
Israeli rescue team to stay in Haiti for another month
The Israeli rescue crew dispatched to Haiti will remain on the earthquake-stricken Caribbean island for at least another month to oversee a field hospital it set up after the disaster struck there last week, the Israel Defense Forces announced on Tuesday.
The Israel-based ZAKA rescue and recovery organization is currently searching for a Canadian Jew missing since the earthquake shook the on Tuesday.
Zaka received a request for help late Monday from the Canadian family of Alexander (Shmuel) Bitton, who had just arrived at the Montana Hotel in Port-au-Prince when the earthquake struck.
The Israeli rescuers on Monday saved a woman who has been trapped for six days under the wreckage of Port-au-Prince's university in Haiti, Channel 10 reported.
The woman was transferred to receive medical treatment at the IDF's field hospital.
Israeli rescue teams were called on by international forces to aid in the rescue of victims trapped in the rubble of the 4-story university building in the southern part of the capital.
According to Channel 10, the international teams knew of two people trapped in the wreckage of the university building, and managed to rescue one of them. The Israeli team was asked to aid with pulling out the other - a female student at the university.
The Israeli team used special equipment to begin lifting parts of the rubble and carefully but quickly managed to create an opening, preventing the whole structure from collapsing. The team was able to see the woman through the opening and successfully rescue her.
Both survivors were trapped under the rubble for six days. Fortunately, air pockets were formed around them and rescue teams found them before they ran out of oxygen.
"The survivors looked completely beaten and covered in dust," Channel 10 quoted Major Amir Ben-David as saying.
"The woman was able to talk, and she told us her name and explained that she was a student at the university. We gave her some primary treatment and then transferred her to the Israeli field hospital. Her condition is stable but I'm not sure if her left leg will survive. I really hope the doctors will save her," said Ben-David.
Earlier on Monday, a six-year-old girl was pulled out from the rubble by locals and was rushed to Israel's clinic. The Israeli medical team was able to save her and she was transferred to the IDF field hospital for further treatment.