Carmel Fire Claims the Life of Pioneering Female Officer

The smell of smoke still hangs in the air of the Carmel Forest, as Israelis look with horror at the ugly black scar that the raging fires of the past five days have left on its beautiful green northern landscape.

The fires extinguished, and the crisis in the past, it is now time to mourn those who were lost in the tragedy. Thousands turned out on Monday for the funeral of a senior and respected member of the Israeli police force, Deputy Commander Ahuva Tomer. As Haaretz reported:

Tomer was critically injured on the first day of the fire, caught in her car racing to the scene of the flames, behind the ill-fated bus of 40 prison guards. Against all odds, suffering from burns on over 90 percent of her body, she hung on to life for four days – the duration of the fire. It seemed fitting that she only passed away after the fire had been subdued, as if she could finally put down her mantle of responsibility and rest.

A pioneer in a male bastion of power, Tomer’s Haifa headquarters was the only police station where both the police chief and the second-in-command were women. Her deputy, Etti Meyerson, eulogized her yesterday, as did a long line of senior police officials and politicians, including President Shimon Peres, who said:

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