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Israel home for Moshe nanny

Dec. 1: Israel is planning to issue an immigration permit to the Indian nanny who saved two-year-old Moshe Holtzberg while his Jewish parents died in the Nariman House attack.

Foreign minister Tzipi Livni told the cabinet yesterday that her ministry was working to grant the nanny, Sandra Samuel, a residency permit so she could live there.

Livni’s disclosure followed a request from Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Aharonov, the chairman of Jewish sect Chabad Lubavitch, to clear the way for Sandra’s immigration.

“I’ve spoken to people in India. We’ve asked them to arrange the visa. The request has also come from the emissary’s parents (the parent’s of Moshe’s father Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg). At this point, she’s the only one the boy is responding to,” Aharonov was quoted as saying by news portal Ynet.

Sandra had grabbed Moshe, who turned two on Saturday, and escaped with him in her arms on Thursday morning, at the height of the Nariman House siege.

His parents Holtzberg, 29, and wife Rivakh, emissaries of the Chabad in Mumbai, were among the nine Jews killed in the attack.

Sandra had said the baby was used to his mother putting him to sleep. “Now he doesn’t understand what’s going on,” she was quoted as telling the Israeli media earlier.

The Israeli defence ministry said it was viewing the Mumbai attack as an enemy action, which will entitle the families of those killed at Nariman House to financial benefits granted to victims of attacks within Israel.

A seven-member Israel police team left for India yesterday to help locate and identify two missing Israelis. “We must search for them (the two) among the casualties of the attacks,” said chief superintendent Itzik Coronio, heading the delegation that includes two anti-terrorism experts.

“All the bodies have been evacuated to a few central locations, and that is where we expect to focus our work,” Coronio added.

The team has prepared “identification kits” containing fingerprints, dental records and DNA samples of each of the missing Israelis.

Post-mortem

Israel has requested India not to conduct post-mortems on its nationals killed in the Nariman House siege, citing what it said were “privacy and religious reasons”.

“The request for not doing the post-mortem is based on privacy as well as some religious reasons,” an official of the Israeli embassy here said. According to the information with the mission, seven of the nine killed in the attack were Israeli nationals, all of them Jews.

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