The kidnap and murder of three Jewish teenagers in June 2014, sparked days of rioting and police clashes in East Jerusalem and other Palestinian areas. Despite the Israeli government appealing for calm on both sides, violence in the region escalated.

Drum Cussac began organising the evacuation of numerous clients from Israel and the West Bank as the exchange of rocket fire, and the Israeli ground assault on the Gaza Strip, continued.

“We have been monitoring the rocket attacks from Gaza and southern Lebanon into Israel on a minute-by-minute basis, and we have been tracking Israel’s air offensive over Gaza. Some of our clients have taken the decision to withdraw their personnel in the face of the ongoing, and increasing violence while others have elected to remain in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel,” said Chris Job, Chief Operating Officer in early July.

For the remaining clients Drum Cussac monitored the situation closely and provided information relating to the threats that each faced. All clients had access to the multi-lingual 24 hour Global Operations Centre for advice and support.

Mid July, one of the HTH universities requested evacuation for 17 of their students, quickly followed by another with 8 students. As the days progressed more universities required evacuations for their students.

Teamwork & Accurate Intelligence

This was a developing situation where the environment was very fluid and fast paced.

Well aware of contingency planning, HTH’s security team allowed Drum Cussac to forward plan so that when the situation escalated our response team was very quickly able to implement effective alternates. Accurate risk assessments and mitigation measures for the changing situation relied on business intelligence from our global analysts and ‘ground truth’ from the in-country team.

Factors determining whether successful evacuations could be made by road rather than air included the number of border crossings open and the highest likelihood of crossing without incident.

In total, Drum Cussac evacuated 100 students from 24 different locations, 50 of them flying out of Tel Aviv and 50 being transported by road into Jordan.