Seemingly staying true to its long-held tradition of sending out aid to any country which has been smashed by a natural disaster, Israel has sent out a 150-person military aid mission to Turkey in the wake of the staggering 7.8 magnitude earthquake and its 7.5 magnitude aftershocks that ravaged Turkey to its foundations and resulted in the deaths of over 3,000 people.
“Some 150 rescue experts are prepared to leave for Turkey in the next few hours. Of these, a third are headquarters and intelligence, and two-thirds have rescue, medical, and engineering capabilities,” explained the commander of the IDF National Rescue Unit, Col. Golan Vach.
“At the request of the Turkish government, I have instructed all authorities to make immediate preparations to provide medical, and search and rescue assistance,” explained Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “The foreign and defense ministers have already been in contact with their counterparts and we will — in the coming hours — agree on the dispatching of a delegation as soon as possible.”
“This is what we do around the world and this is what we do in areas close to us,” the prime minister went on. “Since a request was also received to do this – for the many who were injured in the earthquake in Syria, I have instructed that this be done as well.”
Eli Cohen, the Israeli Foreign Minister, expressed that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told him that Turkey would “welcome the Israeli aid.” This new operation, which has been titled “Olive Branches,” saw a pair of Israeli search and rescue teams being sent out to Turkey late Monday evening; a second flight was scheduled which contained the full IDF medical and rescue teams. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued approval to the IDF to create a field hospital on-site once they get there.
The Tel Aviv municipality building is lit up with the flag of Turkey as a sign of friendship and compassion following the devastating #earthquake.
Medical, search and rescue teams from #Israel are on their way to help in #Turkey. pic.twitter.com/QlxghWmYjC
— Aviva Klompas (@AvivaKlompas) February 6, 2023
Israel sent out a total of 80 tons worth of supplies such as food, tents, generators, baby formula, diapers, and bedding to the U.S after it was slammed in 2005 by Hurricane Katrine, as well as a first response aid group to the victims of the horrid 2004 tsunami that washed over Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Back in 2005, Israel also sent out food and supplies to Kashmir in the wake of their own earthquake; in 2008 Israel sent out food to the Congo. Back in 2009, Israel sent out relief to storm victims in the Philippines.
back in January 2010, Israel sent out over 200 people as part of a disaster relief team, the first of its kind sent from anywhere else, to Haiti in the wake of their earthquake.
Overall, Israel has openly sent relief packages to well over 140 countries.