Skip to comments.Israel Rushes Humanitarian Aid, IDF Rescue Units To Haiti, Opens Facebook Group
Posted on 01/14/2010 9:46:56 PM PST by Jet Jaguar
Jerusalem ---- January 13, 2010 Within minutes of a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake slamming the Caribbean nation of Haiti, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had instructed the Israel Defense, Foreign Affairs and Public Security ministries to urgently administer humanitarian aid.
Haiti President Rene Preval has stated that over 100,000 people had been killed.
I believe that we are well over 100,000. I hope that is not true because I hope people had the time to get out. We have so many people in the street and we dont know exactly where they were living. But there are so many buildings, so many neighborhoods totally destroyed and in some neighborhoods we dont even see people so I dont know where those people are, said Preval.
The tremor, which was centered 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the densely populated capital city of about 2 million inhabitants, was expected to be followed by several aftershocks which may persist for days and cause more damage to crumbling buildings and pose a risk to rescuers searching for survivors.
As Haitians piled bodies along the devastated streets of their capital, the Israel Foreign Ministry prepared an IDF search and rescue team for departure. As of this report, four Israelis are unaccounted for in Haiti, among them the daughter of late Israel peace activist Abie Nathan. The Israel search and rescue team includes elite army corps engineers (Handasa Kravit) and medical units which are ready to deploy field hospitals.
IsraAID has also sent a 12-man search-and-rescue team, which includes emergency medical staff.
The IDF Home Front Command sent search and rescue forces to Haiti, working in cooperation with US relief efforts operating from Miami, with air drops and a US aircraft carrier moving into position. The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson is expected to reach Haiti by Thursday afternoon. A number of other ships, including the USNS Comfort hospital ship and a group of amphibious ships with a Marine Expeditionary Unit aboard, are on standby and may leave for Haiti in the next few days.
The Medical Officer of the IDF Home Front Command, Dr. Ariel Bar, informed Israel Army Radio that measures have already been taken in order to minimize the preparation period of the operation. An initial Israel delegation including Ministry of Foreign Affairs, IDF Home Front Command and IDF Medical Corps Personnel left Israel today at 11:30 a.m. for the Republic of Haiti.
Israel Defense Forces search and rescue forces have been involved in several international rescue operations after natural disasters in the past, including the Izmit earthquake which hit Turkey with a 7.6 magnitude in August 1999.
Israel search and rescue forces and medical teams operated for seven continuous days in coordination with Turkey authorities and rescued 12 victims of the earthquake and recovered 140 bodies. As part of their activities, the IDF forces also set up a field hospital in Turkey, which continued operating after the search and rescue forces returned to Israel. More than one thousand patients and wounded people were treated in the hospital and fourteen babies were delivered in the hospital labor room.
"The IDF Home Front Command constantly trains its search and rescue forces to respond accurately to emergencies," an IDF spokesperson told the Israel News Agency.
"The IDF frequently holds search and rescue exercises in cooperation with civilian Israel and international organizations, such as the Reliant Mermaid X exercise in August 2009, in which Turkey, US and Israel naval and aerial forces cooperated. The IDF Home Front Command and the Israel Ministry of Health are also currently holding an international conference for emergency preparedness and response to share it's experience with hundreds of international officials."
Israel is very well known and respected for its humanitarian relief efforts which stretch from Gaza to the Pacific Ocean.
Even under mortar and sniper fire by Hamas Islamic terrorists, the IDF makes every effort, at the risk to their own soldiers, to send tons of medical and food supplies into Gaza.
Israel and Haiti maintain full diplomatic relations. In 1947, Haiti voted for the United Nations partition of Palestine and the creation of the State of Israel. Many Haitians share much respect and admiration for Israel and its struggles.
Jewish residents of Haiti's neighbor the Dominican Republic are readying efforts to help, the Chabad Website reported. Speaking from his home in S. Domingo, Rabbi Shimon Pelman, director of Chabad-Lubavitch of the Dominican Republic, reported that he was attempting to ascertain the whereabouts of a handful of Jewish families and visiting Israelis in Haiti, which comprises the western half of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.
Israel's ambassador to the Dominican Republic, Amos Radyan, is now traveling by car to Port au Prince on in order to make an initial assessment. Radyan will be risking his life as he travels over broken roads, fallen electric lines, floods and possible harassment by the desperate and starving.
The UN mission chief to Haiti is among those missing with more than 100 people in the rubble of the collapsed UN headquarters building.
UN peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy would not confirm French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner's report that everyone in the UN building, including Hedi Annabi, appeared to have died in the earthquake.
The EU has activated its emergency crisis management system to help quake-hit Haiti, French Secretary of State for European Affairs Pierre Lellouche said.
"We have put in place at the European level all crisis and aid management mechanisms. We have put in place the entire European crisis management system."
Another Israel organization Israeli Flying Aid (IFA) expects to operative for humanitarian relief efforts in Haiti. Israel Flying Aid is a non for profit, non governmental aid organization which provides life saving aid to people affected by natural and man made disasters in developing countries worldwide. IFA provides assistance to all who are in need by distribution of relief items, medical assistance and any other life saving methods. IFA has been involved in several disaster relief and humanitarian efforts ranging from Hurricane Katrina in the US to building a medical clinics in Ethiopia.
IsraAID members have been in direct contact with local agencies in Haiti who together will be treating the injured and offering expertise to the local government. IsraAID has turned to the Israel public in request for donations to support the Israel civilian aid effort.
Web 2.0, social networking Internet cyber volunteers in Israel have opened a Facebook group to send messages of support to the people of Haiti. They might also use the Facebook group - Haiti Earthquake 2010 - Israel Humanitarian Aid - to post pictures and information in order to locate missing Israelis in Haiti.
GOD Bless Hayti and Israel.
You know the Islamic nations will shun Hayti for accepting Israel’s help.
Where is Iran?
It would be NICE to see the DrudgeReport reporting on ISRAEL’S FIRST RESPONSE.
I've been asking the same question for the last 3 days & hardly anyone is willing to answer. Do people not care whether the Islamic countries are willing to help? Does it even matter to them?
I love Israel.
Where is Iran, and Venezeula, and Syria? For starters.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on Friday sent off two large 747 aircraft carrying a 220-strong medical team, search and rescue units crammed with humanitarian supplies to quake-devastated Haiti.
“The Israel team comprises 220 people who will establish a field hospital,” the IDF army spokesman said.
The IDF team comprises 40 doctors, 44 nurses as well as technical personnel. One third of the team is made up of army reservists.
One Israeli, Sharona Elsaieh, the daughter of outspoken peace activist Abbie Nathan who died last year aged 81, was missing but since has made contact with her family from Haiti following Tuesday’s 7.0 earthquake.
The International Committee of the Red Cross said the quake, the largest to hit the Caribbean country in more than 150 years, had killed between 40,000 and 50,000 people.
Search and rescue saves 5 lives. Regular field camp level civil engineering saves 5,000 and more.
Good news bump.
Good news? We’ll see. Happy for Israel’s IMMEDIATE response — bully for Mr. Netanyahu!
But what I’m saying is style (read ‘emotionalism’ and headline grabs) rather than substance (read: hard decisive and quick actions, basic order and civil/sanitary engineering, rather than the glamor of medical relief and search and rescue) is still the rule.
Since we keep hearing that Hamas is just a big ol’ social service agency, how many people have they sent to help in Haiti?
How much have the Saudi royals coughed up for aid? The other oil royals in the Gulf? I’m not even going to ask how many people or how much equipment and medical supplies they’re sending.
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