ZAKA Doesn't Give Up

Published: January 31st 2010

Alexandre Bitton


ZAKA, Israel’s disaster victim identification organization, has announced a special operation in Haiti in order to locate the body of missing Montreal Jew Alexandre Bitton.


Bitton, 36, arrived in Haiti on the day of the earthquake for a business trip. At the time of the earthquake he was in the Hotel Montana in Port-au-Prince. His business partner was the last one to have seen him. They met at the hotel lobby, where Bitton had problems with the check-in process. His business partner helped him out and then they separated ways. The business partner later went to the bar by the pool where he was scheduled to meet Bitton. Ten minutes later the earthquake struck and the five story hotel collapsed.


ZAKA volunteers were on hand with the Israeli delegation to Haiti, in order to identify the victims of the devastating earthquake. ZAKA reported that the delegation made every effort in order to locate the missing Jew under the rubbles of the hotel, but the search was not successful. ZAKA has now announced that efforts to locate Bitton’s body will continue for the next two months. Three of the organization’s well-trained volunteers will travel to Haiti this week and will remain there for ten days. At the conclusion of the ten days, the volunteers will be replaced by another three volunteers, and this cycle will continue every ten days until Bitton’s body is found and identified.


ZAKA’s special operation will be conducted in cooperation with the US delegation, which will be searching for the bodies of 17 Americans believed to be buried under the rubbles of the Hotel Montana. Every body found during the search will be identified by ZAKA volunteers. Chabad’s representative in the Dominican Republic will look after the needs of the volunteers during their stay in Haiti.


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